PACE Wisconsin Gains Traction Statewide
By Meredith Opie
SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, WI — PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Wisconsin, a statewide initiative that allows property owners to access long-term, cost-effective financing for building improvements related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation, became available in Sheboygan County in 2016. The program now supports commercial, agricultural, and industrial development and redevelopment projects in Sheboygan County.
The program will help Sheboygan County’s building owners to utilize cost-effective and eco-friendly practices, while also promoting job creation. Additionally, the program is sustained without any financial support from taxpayers.
PACE Wisconsin Marketing Development Director Kimberly Johnston said, “PACE Wisconsin is a financing mechanism that offers low-cost, up-front funding and covers up to 100% of energy efficiency project costs. PACE is a great choice for commercial property owners because it helps them lower their energy consumption and operating expenses. There is an almost immediate return on the investment.”
PACE Wisconsin builds on the national PACE program, which allows municipalities and counties to work with private sector lenders to provide upfront financing and in turn, help drive economic growth.
“PACE Wisconsin is an open market system, meaning that there are many participating lenders. We have a mix of local, state, regional, and national lenders. They all have different financing ranges that they prefer to lend within, and we encourage property owners to find the lender that best suits them,” Johnston said.
Wisconsin local governments formed the Wisconsin PACE Commission with the help of the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA), the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Green Tier Legacy Communities, the Wisconsin State Energy Office, von Briesen & Roper, s.c., and WECC. These organizations collaborate to strengthen Wisconsin's communities in new and innovative ways.
WCA Field Services Representative Keith Langenhahn said, “We all want to conserve the energy we have; we want clean energy; we want to keep our lakes and streams as clean as possible. PACE is a program that does all of that.”
Sheboygan County Administrator Adam Payne said, “Sheboygan County passed a resolution to be a PACE Wisconsin participating county so that community members could get involved with the program. We encourage developers to consider PACE financing as it’s an innovative program that enables property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing renewable energy and water conservation building improvements from qualified private lenders.”
PACE Wisconsin has completed a total of 50 projects and funded over $79,000,000 worth of project costs. PACE financing is available in over 30 Wisconsin counties, accounting for more than three-fourths of Wisconsin's population. Oostburg State Bank is currently a certified PACE Wisconsin lender in Sheboygan County.