Atlanta, GA is one of the cities that PACE Financial Servicing and the Natural Resources Defense Council worked with to develop a C-PACE program in 2020.
Bethesda, MD – PACE Financial Servicing (“PFS”) is pleased to share that it worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”) in 2020 to support property assessed clean energy (“PACE”) programs in four major cities across the United States through the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge (“the Climate Challenge”): Atlanta, Georgia, San Antonio, Texas, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Columbus, Ohio. PFS was thrilled to work with representatives and partners of these vibrant cities. PFS undertook this project in partnership with Abacus Property Solutions (“Abacus”), a Virginia based real estate advisory firm with a long record of providing impactful expertise in the PACE realm.
PACE financing is an expanding sector that has grown exponentially since its first legislative introduction more than a decade ago. Now, 37 states and the District of Columbia have passed PACE enabling legislation, and 22 states and D.C. have an active PACE program. While PACE financing is a tool that facilitates economic development and energy-saving returns with little to no government investment, establishing a PACE program takes time. This process requires passing state and municipal PACE laws, designing the underlying contractual agreements to levy and service PACE assessments, and creating PACE program guidelines for each PACE program. The burden of this process is often outsourced to expert third parties who have the institutional knowledge, earned experience, and industry contacts to fully actualize a program of this magnitude. PFS and Abacus have both been contracted, jointly on occasion, to design PACE programs for state and local governments. Most recently, PFS assisted in passing C-PACE enabling legislation in Oklahoma and developing a statewide C-PACE, which was launched at the end of 2020. PFS is also currently providing technical assistance to the Alaska Energy Authority and the Municipality of Anchorage in establishing a C-PACE program in Alaska.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge is an initiative that empowers 25 of the largest U.S. cities to implement near-term climate goals and become primary drivers of progress towards meeting America’s pledge on climate. Recognizing that cities account for more than 70% of global carbon emissions – and that mayors have significant authority over cities’ highest emitting sectors: transportation and buildings – the Climate Challenge aims to enhance the work already being done by mayors across the U.S. and to support cities in the fight against climate change. PACE represents a high-impact, scalable tool for decreasing carbon emissions and promoting renewable-energy production and resource conservation through private investment. Said Jay Orfield, NRDC’s Director, Buildings & Energy for the Climate Challenge, “PACE financing is an important mechanism for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy production in privately owned property. NRDC is pleased to work with PFS and Abacus Property Solutions, two experts in commercial property assessed clean energy, to help these cities solidify and promote their C-PACE programs.”
In executing city Climate Challenge plans, Atlanta, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Columbus are among those that set goals associated with progressing PACE. In early 2020, PFS and Abacus surveyed these goals alongside milestones achieved thus far. After identifying the “state of PACE” in each city, PFS and Abacus helped program partners to identify attainable goals and tasks through the end of 2020. In the second half 0f 2020, PFS and Abacus provided ad hoc technical expertise to Climate Challenge partners in Atlanta. PFS developed a memorandum for Columbus government officials on the status of residential property assessed clean energy (“R-PACE”) in the city and nationwide alongside a review of R-PACE consumer protection policies. For San Antonio, PFS created brochures about commercial property assessed clean energy (“C-PACE”) for multifamily properties and acquiring mortgage holder consent for C-PACE assessments. PFS and Abacus’s support was intended to help remove roadblocks to PACE success and fill gaps in program development resources.
In supporting PACE in the target areas outlined above, PFS prioritized the three principles that it has used to develop PACE programs across the country: PACE programs should be low-cost, open to competition, and standardized. By prioritizing these three principles of best practice PACE program design, PFS helps its partners ensure that PACE is affordable, approachable, and scalable.
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