In a move to help local business owners save money on their utility bills, the Redlands City Council in March approved a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program administered by Figtree Energy Resource Company (Figtree). The PACE program will provide commercial property owners upfront financing for energy and water efficiency building upgrades and renewable energy systems.
Figtree’s unique PACE program unlocks the multi-billion dollar market for energy-efficiency with flexible financing terms that empower property owners to work with local contractors to improve commercial buildings. Energy improvements can transform existing energy expenses into thousands of dollars of positive cash flow each year, as the cost of financing is often lower than the amount of money saved on energy. As a result, PACE financing stimulates local economies and creates local jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of all Californians.
Redlands is participating in this effort with other California cities and counties to remove cost and technical barriers to going green. Property owners qualify for long-term financing based on the value of their property and the land-secured PACE structure eliminates the need for personal guarantees. The fixed-rate financing requires no money down and no minimum credit score. Plus, the balance is transferable if the property is sold before the PACE financing is paid off – so the current owner pays only for the benefits s/he receives.
Participating property owners will pay back their financing through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill for up to 20 years. Although the billing mechanism is the property tax bill, the program does not rely on public funds or increased taxes.
PACE funds can be used only for materials and labor costs of permanently installed improvements, such as high-efficiency lighting, heating and air conditioning, windows, reflective roofing, plumbing fixtures, water treatment equipment, solar panels, and many more, that will reduce the building’s use of grid-supplied energy or water.
“It’s good to offer this ability for residents and local businesses to become more energy efficient,” said Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. “It’s good for our local economy and it’s good for our sustainability practices.”