Wornall Plaza, a condominium complex in Kansas City, Mo., will save an estimated $34,000 in energy costs annually, thanks to a retrofit made possible by the Kansas City municipal government’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The Kansas City Star reports that the condo is the first building in the city to participate in the city’s PACE program.
The program allows property owners to borrow money for renewable energy and energy efficiency property improvements with little or no upfront cost and then repay the loan over 15 to 17 years with money saved on utility bills.
Wornall Plaza used $100,000 of its reserves to fund the $670,000 in upgrades, borrowing the balance through the PACE program.
Buildings that participate in the PACE program must go through an energy audit to ensure that the utility savings will offset the annual repayment. Wornall Plaza worked with Energy Solutions Professions, which conducted the audit, recommended replacement equipment and helped secure financing for the project.
The condominium co-op replaced boilers that were more than 50 years old, installed energy efficient lights and replaced temperature controls in the parking garage.
The new boilers are already saving 60 percent of the energy used by the old ones.
PACE financing is available for most commercial properties, offices and shopping centers. It is not available for residential properties and most condominium buildings. Wornall Plaza qualified because it is a co-op and the property assessment is made on the building as a whole rather than on each unit.
Through its affiliation with Missouri’s Clean Energy District, Kansas City’s PACE program received $4.6 million in Missouri energy conservation bonds, which allows the program to provide lower interest rates—around 4 percent—on energy improvement loans.
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