PACE program debuts in Brown County

Published: Aug. 29, 2017 at 3:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A new program rolls out in Brown County, intended to help business owners find the financing to increase their property value.

“It’s a creative financing tool to essentially use energy savings to pay for the infrastructure investment or the capitol investment in their property,” says Troy Streckenbach, Brown County Executive.

It’s called PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, aimed at promoting redevelopment in Brown County.

Streckenbach says PACE allows property owners to finance all of their energy-efficient upgrades with no out-of-pocket cost.

“They just need to get a third-party auditor to come in and say that by implementing or investing in certain technologies or energy assistance, or energy program, as long as the savings is there and it could generate the necessary revenue to pay for the cost of the investment, they can be certified,” he says.

“The financing is secured by a tax assessment,” says Jason Stringer, program administrator, PACE Wisconsin. “In the state of Wisconsin, that’s a special charge. Counties have to decide and approve the use of this special charge as a security for the PACE financing. And then through the program … and by virtue of our statute, we’re able to let private, financial institutions make these loans.”

PACE was approved in Brown County back in July, and signed into law two weeks ago, with the hope that local companies can use the program to their benefit.

“It’s easy to overlook what it’s costing to keep your building maintained, or maybe some of your utility bills. So often, those opportunities are overlooked,” Stringer says. “With this tool, we’re adding by virtue of making available lower cost, long-term financing, we’re creating an incentive for businesses to look at those costs a little bit more closely.”

That includes updates to roofs, windows, doors, heating and cooling systems, or even solar panels.

“We have investment in urban renewal, we have property values that instead of having them continue to decline, we have them stabilizing, and we see reinvestment in our overall community,” Streckenbach says.

The PACE program is already used in Fond du Lac County, in the Hotel Retlaw renovations.

“Obviously with a complex project like Retlaw, as many financing tools that the developer and the city … can utilize to … make a project like this come forward,” says Dyann Benson, community development director, City of Fond du Lac. “It’s really been important.”

Brown County is the 23rd county across Wisconsin to implement the PACE program.