HOUSTON LAUNCHES PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY (PACE) PROGRAM
Innovative Financing Tool Helps Property Owners Cut Costs, Increase Efficiency
August 3, 2016 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Texas PACE Authority today announced the launch of a commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE program in Houston, providing an additional tool for Houston property owners to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects.
“We are thrilled to launch Houston’s PACE program,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “PACE is an innovative way to help spur efficiency investments in Houston’s building infrastructure that would otherwise have been capital intensive. Between the long-term utility savings and the energy and water conservation benefits, it’s a win-win for our community.”
PACE is a nationally-renowned, voluntary financing program that allows owners of commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential properties (with five or more dwelling units) to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency improvements, and distributed generation.
In exchange for funds provided by a private lender to pay for the improvements, the property owner voluntarily requests that the local government place an assessment secured with a senior lien on the property until the assessment is paid in full. As PACE assessment payments are generally offset by the project’s utility cost savings and the term of PACE assessments may extend up to the projected life of the improvement, improvements financed through a PACE program may generate positive cash flow upon completion without up-front, out-of-pocket costs to the property owner.
The State of Texas authorized municipal and county PACE Programs in 2013. Houston City Council adopted a resolution establishing a Houston PACE program on November 4, 2015. To date, PACE programs are being set up in four Texas counties (Travis, Williamson, Cameron, and Willacy) and two cities (Houston and Dallas).
To learn more about Houston’s PACE program or submit an application, visit www.texaspaceauthority.org.
Hear what others are saying about Houston’s PACE Program:
“Our church is considering several improvement projects including air conditioning, lighting, a roof and control systems, which will require significant capital to install. We see PACE as a good way to pay for these improvements while improving the energy efficiency and comfort for our members and guests. The folks at PACEHouston.com and their team have helped us understand our options and the means to pay for it.”
-Herb Yuan, Board of Deacons, Rice Temple Baptist Church
“I want to congratulate the City of Houston and the Texas PACE Authority on this achievement. Bringing PACE to Houston allows commercial and industrial property managers to cost-effectively reinvest in their facilities to improve performance and reduce utility expenses. Having witnessed first-hand the success of the State’s LoanSTAR (Loans for Saving Texas and Resources) program in bringing greater efficiencies to public sector facilities, I applaud the hard work that has gone into bringing PACE to private property owners in Houston.”
-Dub Taylor, Director, State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
"Texas' commercial PACE program is perhaps the state's most effective tool to reduce energy consumption and save Texans billions of dollars, while also reducing air pollution and saving large quantities of water.”
-John Hall, Texas State Director – Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund
“Dixie Chemical is very pleased that the City of Houston is supporting PACE finance that improves Houston’s industrial competitiveness and sustainability by facilitating investment in energy conservation, heat recovery, and cogeneration to access the abundant and low cost energy available in our chemical and petrochemical sectors.”
-Mike Gromacki, President, Dixie Chemical Company
“Every business and property owner has a common sense incentive to conserve energy and water and save money. But the decision to invest in energy or water conservation is still a business decision that must be based on real world analysis of the best return on investment. The beauty of PACE financing is it provides property owners the unique opportunity to ensure immediate cost savings while providing significant economic opportunities to area businesses at no risk to local taxpayers.”
-Steve Minnick, Vice President, Texas Association of Business
“The development and implementation of practical strategies to reduce energy and water usage in the Houston market will be made easier through Houston PACE. It has been an honor and privilege for HARC and EEB Houston to work with the City of Houston to provide stakeholder support and education for the Houston PACE program.”
-Gavin Dillingham, PhD., Program Director, Clean Energy Policy and Director,
DOE Southwest CHP TAP, Houston Advanced Research Center
“As the leading direct lender of PACE capital for the commercial sector nationwide, CleanFund congratulates the city of Houston, the Texas PACE Authority, and Keeping PACE in Texas on launching its program in Houston. CleanFund — with our local partner PACE Houston — is excited about the opportunity in the State of Texas and stands ready to invest millions in upgrading commercial, industrial, and non-profit buildings through the Texas PACE program.”
-Joshua Kagan, Senior Director, CleanFund
“We are very excited that the Houston’s PACE program is now open for business. The potential for PACE projects in Houston is one of the largest opportunities in the country and we are looking forward to being involved in helping the city reduce its carbon footprint.”
-Mansoor Ghori, Managing Director, Petros PACE Finance
“PACE has the potential to unlock Houston's energy efficiency and renewable energy potential, while also creating local jobs. I'm encouraged that we can now take this next step in embracing our clean energy future, and begin positioning Houston as a green energy leader globally.”
-Steve Brown, PACE Developer with Greenworks Lending
“PACE is a “win-win” for Houston and for our clients, whether they be office buildings, hospitals, hotels, multifamily, retail, not-for-profits or industrial projects. PACE provides access to 100% long-term fixed-rate financing for energy and water conservation improvements that make financial sense. PACE is the single best new idea I have seen in my 35 year commercial real estate career.”
-Tim Crockett, President, PACEHouston
"We are generating a lot of excitement about having a PACE program in Houston and believe that implementing this program will stimulate millions of dollars of investments into energy efficiency upgrades as well as water conservation measures that may otherwise be postponed or avoided. This will also stimulate jobs and create greater sales tax revenues for the city, as well as help meet our City’s aggressive sustainability goals.”
-Nelson Spitz, Managing Director – Houston, PACE Equity
"Kudos to Mayor Turner and other leaders at the City of Houston for making energy conservation more attractive and more attainable for commercial property owners. I expect Houston's newly adopted PACE program will soon serve as the 'go-to' model for how truly impactful energy savings can be a achieved by a major American city."
-Hon. Penny Redington, Board Member, Texas PACE Authority
“Investing in energy efficiency makes good make economic sense for virtually all commercial property owners. The Houston PACE program provides a new way for property owners to pay for these improvements with low-cost, long-term financing.”
-Steve Block, Of Counsel, Thompson & Knight, LLP, President, Keeping PACE in Texas