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Sacramento Office Park Retrofits with PACE Financing, Reduces Energy 27%

July 31, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Sacramento speechClean Energy Sacramento launched the largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) project in the country, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Sacramento’s Metro Center Corporate Park will take advantage of $3.16 million in PACE financing to make energy efficiency upgrades, including replacement of rooftop units with high efficiency equipment and installation of a Metasys building management system from Johnson Controls to control the mechanical equipment and interior and exterior lighting.

The retrofit will enable Metro Center to apply for LEED certification.

Metro Center, managed by Colliers International, is comprised of four buildings, totaling about 250,000 square feet. The complex is owned by Seattle-based real estate investment firm Metzler Real Estate. The energy efficiency upgrades will reduce Metzler’s annual utility costs by $140,000, a 27 percent decrease, and Metzler will incur no upfront capital costs.

Sacramento has committed to retrofit 12 million square feet of commercial property in President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, and has partnered with Ygrene Energy Fund to make $100 million of PACE funding available for property owners to make energy upgrades.

For Metro Center, Ygrene Energy Fund will pay for the upgrades, then, Metzler will repay the costs on its property tax bill. Johnson Controls will design and implement the upgrades.

Recently, Milwaukee announced a similar arrangement connecting private capital with building owners to fund energy efficiency improvements through a commercial PACE program. Milwaukee’s Economic Development Corporation is working with California-based Clean Fund to finance the energy efficiency projects for commercial buildings via PACE, and Johnson Controls is also involved in the Milwaukee projects.

To date, 30 states have PACE enabling legislation. Projects are repaid through an annual assessment on a property tax bill that is linked to the property rather than the owner.

Sacramento’s program, Clean Energy Sacramento administered by Ygrene Energy Fund, launched earlier this year. The program has closed $4.2 million in projects over the past 90 days and has received over $10 million in pre-approved applications.


3 comments on “Sacramento Office Park Retrofits with PACE Financing, Reduces Energy 27%

  1. I suspect there were significant rebates involved as well, or perhaps a buy-down of the interest rate in order to finance the deal through the property tax bill. Assuming a hurdle rate of 8.5%, the public entity would need to either rebate $575K or fund at 2.5% for this to break even over 20 years.

  2. Girard Gurgick, “Using a 4.5% loan, this costs the owner an extra $100,000 per year for 20 years.,” if the owner saves $140,000 a year wouldn’t the project be cash flow positive immediately?

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