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Thursday, 24 August 2017 16:42

PACE energy financing initiative approved in Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids City Commission adopted a measure aimed at easing the process for property owners to make energy efficiency upgrades.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program acts as a financing mechanism for commercial building owners to upgrade energy-using equipment, anything from HVAC systems to solar panels to lighting.

“I am pleased that my colleagues on the City Commission joined me in approving a PACE program,” Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said in a statement. “PACE provides a critical tool for property owners. It is an exciting step toward our sustainability goals and is a tremendous boost to the Grand Rapids 2030 District.”

The program has been in place for a number of years in Southeast Michigan and in Kalamazoo County since 2015, as MiBiz previously reported. However, it has been slow to catch on in the Grand Rapids area.  

Some commercial real estate developers previously contacted by MiBiz have expressed interest in the program.

“There is interest from the business community in using this new tool,” Josh Lunger, director of government affairs with the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “We applaud the mayor and City Commission for creating another potential pathway for area businesses to make investments in sustainability and efficiency.”

The Grand Rapids program will be administered by Lean & Green Michigan, a subsidiary of Levin Energy Partners LLC, a Detroit-based firm that matches lenders with property owners.

“We are honored to serve as PACE administrator for the City of Grand Rapids as it launches its PACE program,” Andy Levin, president of Lean & Green Michigan and Levin Energy Partners, said in a statement. “Grand Rapids is well-recognized as a leader in sustainability.”

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