Presentation delivered on PACE program
JUNEAU -- Dodge County Executive Committee members heard from Jon Hochkammer who delivered a presentation Thursday on the Property Assessed Clean Energy program.
Hochkammer, the outreach manager for the Wisconsin Counties Association, said PACE is an innovative program that enables property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements.
He said the average commercial building wastes nearly 30 percent of the energy it consumes. With energy costs on the rise -- and an increasing focus on sustainability -- conserving energy and reducing operating expenses remain a priority for building owners.
Now active in 34 counties including Jefferson County and neighboring Sauk, Iowa and Dane counties, commercial PACE financing helps commercial property owners obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements. With the addition of the latest counties, PACE Wisconsin is now available to 78 percent of Wisconsin’s population.
Hochkammer said PACE not only allows commercial property owners an affordable opportunity to finance energy efficiency projects, it also adds to the desired economic activity within the county.
According to Hochkammer, PACE financing is used to drive economic development by authorizing municipalities and counties to work with private sector lenders to provide upfront financing -- usually for 100 percent of the cost of energy-saving improvements -- to property owners for qualified projects. Among other things, PACE helps communities:
-- Stimulate job creation and investment in goods and services;
-- Lower the cost of doing business by reducing the cost of capital to fund improvements, which in turn saves building owners money on operating expenses;
-- Revitalize aging buildings, thereby improving the local building stock and raising the value of property and the potential tax base; and
-- Achieve sustainability goals by fostering the completion of energy and water conservation projects.