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PACE in Michigan: Program Lets Business Set PACE on Green Building

Businesses can have a tough time borrowing money to make their buildings more energy-efficient. That’s where a variety of government programs that promote what’s called Property Assessed Clean Energy come in.

PACE programs let a property owner take on a special tax assessment for energy retrofits, allowing for longer repayment periods. Michigan’s PACE program covers a number of upgrades to commercial and industrial buildings and multifamily (though not single-family) homes.

But it’s up to local governments – cities, townships and counties – whether they want to join. Seven counties have opted in but Kalamazoo County isn’t yet among them.

WMUK recently spoke with Andy Levin of Lean and Green Michigan, a public-private partnership that manages PACE programs for local governments, about why he says the program is a boon for all involved.

Levin says that since most commercial loans last three to five years, many private lenders are reluctant to give loans for renewable energy projects because they can take eight to 15 years to pay off. Read more.