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PACE program launched in Cincinnati, Ohio


A new financing partnership approved by the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority this week could unleash more than $100 million in energy-related real estate investments in Hamilton County over the next five years.

Already the program has a pipeline of 20 projects involving 570,000 square feet of commercial real estate where $50 million in energy upgrades are being reviewed for potential financing.

The new partnership between the Port Authority and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance will be the region’s main vehicle for PACE loans. PACE, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, is a financing tool that lets property owners use a portion of their property taxes to pay off debt.

“We want PACE to be the next great economic development financing tool,” said Energy Alliance CEO Andy Holzhauser. “It can finance any improvements that save energy, any equipment that consumes energy.”

In addition to PACE, the Energy Alliance and the Port Authority are planning to develop a suite of energy-related economic development programs that enable commercial property owners to find the best way to finance the installation of energy conservation systems along with energy-efficient lighting, factory equipment and heating and cooling systems. Private and public financing will be used to pay off projects that cost between $500,000 and $2 million, Holzhauser said. In some cases, the Port Authority may bundle projects for a larger public bond issue. Read more.