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St. Louis Post Dispatch logo

St. Louis Post Dispatch
By Bryce Gray
February 3, 2016

St. Louis adopts plan to track energy use in commercial buildings

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis’ largest and most energy-intensive buildings will soon have help identifying opportunities for savings after the Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a bill this week that establishes an energy monitoring, or “benchmarking,” requirement for certain commercial properties.

St. Louis City HallThe bulk of the large commercial buildings that will be affected by the ordinance are in Ward 7, which includes much of downtown.

Sponsor Jack Coatar, 7th Ward alderman, says building managers were largely receptive to the measure, since many are already taking steps to trim electricity consumption.

In November, St. Louis became one of 20 cities nationwide to be selected for the benchmarking initiative, known as the City Energy Project.

A joint venture of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation, the project provides both the funding and technical support for tracking energy usage in large buildings, giving them the tools to save power and money.

The program aims to enable $1.5 billion in annual energy savings nationwide by 2030.

"We know that large, commercial buildings produce far more greenhouse gases than small residential buildings," Coatar said.

Coatar said the only buildings that will have to report energy usage information in the first year of the program are St. Louis city buildings. "We're going to smooth out the process using our own buildings," said Coatar.

He said privately owned buildings would join in the second year of the effort. Coatar said he does not envision the program eventually being expanded to other types of buildings.

Ashok Gupta, a Kansas City-based senior energy economist for the NRDC, was surprised by how quickly the city has put the project into play.

"I can't believe this bill passed as quickly as it did," Gupta said. "I don't think any other city has passed it this fast."

Gupta said the project would help connect any "poor performers" with utility rebate programs for improving efficiency or Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.


From Byron DeLear and Tom Appelbaum:

"Congratulations to Alderman Jack Coatar, Emily Watson of the Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Catherine Werner, Sustainability Director of the City of St. Louis, and many others for this important data-driven initiative for our city and region.

There are approximately 1000 buildings in the City that are 50,000 sq. ft. and larger. Benchmarking will help identify the best opportunities for installing energy efficiency measures that produce the greatest return on investment and reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions—a critical step toward the City of St. Louis meeting its sustainability goals of achieving 25 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Set the PACE St. Louis will play an important role in providing 100% upfront, fixed rate, long-term financing for qualified upgrades such as solar, high-efficiency HVAC, insulation, LED lighting, among many other types of energy efficiency and renewable energy property improvements for these buildings and their owners."

Energy Equity Funding LLC
Program Administrator for Set the PACE St. Louis


St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune logo

Public News Service
October 3, 2016

Missouri is Most-Improved State for Energy Efficiency

Missouri's PACE programs are getting some credit for the state's progress in moving toward green energy and power savings.

ST. LOUIS – Missouri has made some big strides in saving electricity. The latest report card from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks Missouri 32nd among the states, up 12 spots from 2015.

Kristy Manning, director of the Missouri Department of Energy, said as part of the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan, states are encouraged to select energy efficiency as a way to meet goals set by the federal government.

"With just some thoughtful planning, it's not hard for a state to start making some real progress and advancement in these areas," said Manning. "But it does require some strategic planning and thoughtfulness in how to approach it, and how to do it most meaningfully."

Missouri was praised for its Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE). It allows property owners to apply for financing to make energy-saving upgrades, like adding insulation, storm windows and doors, LED lighting and upgrades to heating and cooling systems. The money is paid back over 20 years.

Current legislative candidate Byron DeLear administers "Set the Pace St. Louis" and started the St. Louis County PACE Program. He explained that PACE works by keeping the monthly payments low enough that they're offset by money saved on the retrofits.

DeLear cited the Missouri Athletic Club as an example—which, last year, was the second-largest PACE project in the nation.

"The Missouri Athletic Club was the first building west of the Mississippi to have air conditioning; it still had the original air handlers in it," said DeLear. "On the first year after the energy-efficiency measures were performed on the property, the Missouri Athletic Club is saving $205,000."

Carolyn Amparan, chair of the Sierra Club's Osage Chapter based in Columbia, Mo., noted that her city has made improvements to save energy in business and residential construction. She thinks that needs to happen statewide.

"Getting more municipalities and counties to adopt the codes would be an excellent step forward," said Amparan. "And then, the utilities in the state could do more as well. Some of them are really exceptional, like ours here in Columbia, but others have not really invested in energy-efficiency programs as much as they could."

The report card notes Missouri is the most-improved state in the nation this year in terms of energy efficiency.


St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune logo

The Missouri Times
August 12, 2016

St. Louis PACE gives preliminary approval to three projects

SAINT LOUIS – As the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) begins to take off in Missouri, St. Louis’ Set the PACE Clean Energy Development Board (CEDB) is moving carefully to launch an expanded program. Set the PACE, the state’s only clean energy development board sponsored by a major municipality, is currently reviewing projects. 

The meeting showed both the promise of the program and why prudent policy makers and administrators are putting an emphasis on proper structures and safeguards in the program before completing funding for projects. 

“We are excited to see these projects brought to a place where we can offer preliminary approval,” said board chairman Patrick Justis. “I am looking forward to seeing jobs created, and the positive environmental impacts.”

The board met Wednesday to not only review three projects, but it hopes to include energy saving plans within their larger redevelopment plans and also set a timeline to finalize their application and future approval processes. 

The CEDB and the administrator permitted the preliminary approvals of three projects based on representations from the developers that the projects were funded and a delay in CEDB approval could jeopardize their imminent closing. 

"We have been developing new policies and procedures, standardizing our program documents which will be used for all future PACE projects both commercial and residential, updating our marketing materials, website, and completing a new Program Manual", said Set the PACE program administrator Byron DeLear. "Our proposed date to begin the relaunch of commercial PACE, Sept. 15, 2016. The CEDB and the administrator permitted the preliminary approvals of three projects based on representations from the developers that the projects were funded and a delay in CEDB approval could jeopardize their imminent closing."

"The interim approval process provides the developers comfort that final approval will occur if all of the conditions are met to establish the basis for CEDB findings required under the statute", said DeLear

The projects which were given a preliminary yellow light to utilize the PACE program were:

  • 705 Olive a restoration project submitted by Amrit Gill which would include $8 million in PACE funding and create 200 jobs.
  • 634 North Grand a redevelopment plan submitted by The Lawrence Group which would include $9.6 million in PACE funding and create 100 jobs.
  • 300 North Front Street a restoration project submitted by Joseph Gillespie with 200 STL Holdings to include $20 million in PACE funding and create more than 200 jobs.

What exactly is the PACE program?
The PACE statute was enacted in 2010 and provides political subdivisions the ability to appoint clean energy development boards like the one chaired by Justis in the City of St. Louis. The clean energy development boards then become their own independent political subdivisions.

"The PACE program allows property owners to finance energy friendly improvements to their property by placing them on their property tax assessment. PACE allows for 100% financing and allows the payments to be spread out for up to 20 years. The assessments are covered as liens on the property", said DeLear.

Optimistic but prudent formation of program standards
While the three properties were given a preliminary approvals from the board the actual resolutions the board passed had several conditions the applicants will have to meet before executing an assessment contract.

"We are going to be very cautious with our initial projects to ensure that our board sets standards that will be in place for a long time, and that approves several successful PACE projects," said Justis.

The PACE statute allowing for the board's formation gives a unique and very powerful ability to place project costs on a property tax bill. It also empowers the board to issue and sell bonds, defined as any note or similar instrument created by or on behalf of a clean energy development board. However, with those very unique and powerful abilities the statute imposes some specific responsibilities.

For example, the statute prohibits the board from entering into an assessment contract without making a finding that there are sufficient resources to complete the project and that the estimated economic benefit expected from the project during the financing period is equal to or greater than the cost of the project.

This means that it's the board's responsibility to collect all of the proper documentation, and legal opinions necessary to complete their due diligence to make sure the projects are financially sound, and that the structure of the transaction will comply with the statute. A CEDB is a political subdivision of the state that can sue or be sued.

The meeting showed both the program's potential to be a key tool in development and the caution that boards like St. Louis' Set the Pace have to employ to develop a sustainable and responsible program.

St. Louis is the state's only city within a county and has an A1 bond rating from Moody's.


St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune logo

St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune
By Byron DeLear and Tim Murray
May 11, 2016

Missouri Leads Midwest in Clean-Energy Job Growth; Expansion Set to Continue

One brilliant economic success story for Missouri is the fact that we are currently enjoying the highest clean-energy job growth in the Midwest. According to a recent report based on U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, 52,000 Missourians work in clean-energy with 13,000 workers added in the past year alone. The growth rate of 8.3% is the highest among all 12 states in the region. Good news is, due to the launch of new clean-energy programs and the expansion of existing ones in our state, job opportunities in this sector will continue to increase at an accelerated pace.

DRIVER FOR GROWTH
“Bottom line is folks are saving money on their energy bills and this is the real driver of growth,” said Tom Appelbaum of Energy Equity Funding, LLC. Energy Equity Funding administers several clean-energy programs in the Midwest including “Set the PACE St. Louis” which provides 100% up-front financing for energy improvements for property owners. “The financing under the program is paid back as a voluntary special assessment and is available at longer terms than traditional loans,” added Appelbaum. “For participating property owners, this creates a net-positive cash-flow due to lower utility costs and other savings.”

Energy-efficiency is the largest portion of Missouri's clean-energy workforce at nearly three-quarters of all jobs in the state. 45% of the workforce is located in the metropolitan St. Louis region.

PROJECT SUCCESS
One of the most successful projects in the nation for 2015 was the $2.4mm comprehensive energy-retrofit on the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Downtown Clubhouse. The iconic city landmark was the first building to have air conditioning west of Mississippi, and post-upgrade, will save more than $200,000 its first year.  By year twenty, the MAC's new facilities will be generating $362,000 a year in savings. 

“This piece makes great sense for us,” stated MAC General Manager Wally Smith. “These systems will be working for 20 or 30 years down the road and set the club up for the future—and without any out-of-pocket costs for us? It’s really a no-brainer.”

QUALITY UNION WORK
On the MAC project, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 teamed-up with general contractor Trane and worked 800 man hours supplied by four electrical contractors: Kaemmerlen Electric, Aschinger Electric, Electric Mechanics, and Temperature Control Solutions.

“We absolutely recognize the environmental, economic, and social value of clean-energy and are excited to work on touchstone projects like the MAC,” said Doug Martin of the National Electrical Contractors Association. “Our affiliated contractors provided the electrical portion for the energy efficient upgrades to the Heating and Air Conditioning System along with the lighting retrofit.  Savings are generated in a number of ways including utilizing programmable set points on thermostats, providing ‘demand’ lighting, and load shedding. 

GOOD-PAYING AMERICAN JOBS
Clean-energy property retrofits create good-paying, American jobs that can't be outsourced. Occupations such as pipefitters, electricians, insulators, and laborers all play a role in completing these projects. Additionally, 90% of the products associated with energy-efficiency, such as insulation, caulking, and weather stripping, are made in the U.S.A.

The IBEW, the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, and the National Electrical Contractors Association have developed some of the most advanced green-jobs training programs and facilities in the United States, and have invested more than $140 million in renewable energy training. 

Since 1941, IBEW training centers have been educating electricians on all modern electrical needs. They possess state-of-the-art green training equipment, including solar arrays, wind turbines, and programmable logic controllers.

The St. Louis Building and Construction Trades, of which the IBEW Local 1 is a member, has recently signed a St. Louis Clean-Energy Workforce Agreement for the City and County which is unique in the United States.

“We will coordinate our exclusive BUD (Building Union Diversity) program with the City and County’s PACE programs to include specific educational materials and training associated with developing careers in clean-energy,” said Jeff Aboussie, Secretary for the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades.

“The BUD program is only one way in which Set the PACE St. Louis and the County’s new PACE program will be focusing on community inclusion—providing opportunities for minorities and women as well as existing journeymen to become apprentices with participating unions to learn the skills allowing them to employable for the rest of their lives.”

STARK CONTRAST
Community workforce agreements are a fundamental part of revitalization and renewal efforts for our region—and when coupled with the transformative movement occurring in clean-energy—revenue neutral initiatives like PACE-financing can actually begin to address larger issues such as climate pollution while also advancing economic interests.

In the upcoming national contest for the Presidency, climate change will undoubtedly play a critical role for voters as the likely Democratic and Republican nominees couldn't offer a more stark contrast. America, as the prime industrial mover, has a moral responsibility to lead on the shift toward clean-energy; and, in an ironic twist, Missouri, in terms of growth, is actually at the head of the pack.

Byron DeLear is a program administrator for Set the PACE St. Louis and a candidate for Missouri State Representative. Tim Murray is a Business Representative for the IBEW in the St. Louis jurisdiction and an officer on the IBEW Local 1 Executive Board.


National Progressive Examiner header

National Progressive Examiner
By Byron DeLear
March 4, 2016

PACE Nation brings together U.S. clean energy movement

Set the PACE St. Louis program administrators presented in Denver, Feb. 29 to March 2 at PACE Nation 2016—the first national summit for PACE financing. Tom Appelbaum and Byron DeLear shared numerous Set the PACE St. Louis program successes such as completing one of the largest projects in the nation among all PACE programs for 2015, our scholarship program for women and minority owned-businesses, and the fact that Set the PACE St. Louis has financed the most commercial PACE per capita in the Midwest. People were very interested to learn about our program. DeLear's report on the conference from March 4 is below.

PACE Nation logo

DENVER, CO Among the many stories of the clean-energy revolution, some good, some not-so-much, there is one initiative that is currently growing at an exponential rate. This week, clean-energy professionals packed a conference held in Denver to advance a movement centered on "PACE-financing" which, in a matter of a few years, has already driven tens of thousands of energy upgrades for homes and businesses. Yesterday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper addressed "PACE Nation" and extolled the program's many economic, social, and environmental virtues.

"I couldn't be more enthusiastic about having you guys all here—Broncos country," said Gov. Hickenlooper, referring to Denver's recent Superbowl victory. "The Broncos won because they worked together, and if you look at what we're all doing around sustainable energy—making sure we are addressing this global issue of climate change in pragmatic, cost-effective ways—it's [really about] everybody working together. I think that's a huge part of what's going on with PACE. It's that collaborative ability to begin to show the public this isn't just about burning less hydrocarbons—it's also about saving money and putting it into people's household budgets or commercial property owner's budgets; it's about economic development; it's about job growth; and it is about a sustainable energy future. "

Gov. John Hickenlooper quote

The conference was produced by PACE Nation, the leading national nonprofit advocacy group for "Property Assessed Clean Energy," a means for property owners to leverage future energy savings to pay for clean-energy upgrades. The financing is structured as a special tax assessment and includes eligible property upgrades such as solar, high-efficiency HVAC, insulation, and LED lighting. PACE assessments carry significant triple-bottom line benefits, and in large part, the innovation has been accepted as a new, investment-grade asset class. Consequently, adoption has exploded.

PACE Nation panel

"We've seen PACE activity grow on an exponential curve," stated Mike Lemyre, Senior Vice-President of Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading multi-state provider of clean-energy financing. "More than 82,000 properties have embraced PACE and upgraded their homes and buildings to higher levels of efficiency and renewable energy generation—there's really a revolution taking place."

Greater than $1.6 billion in residential clean energy projects have been financed with most of the activity taking place in the last 2-3 years. Ygrene Energy Fund and Renovate America are two leading firms supplying PACE financing for homeowners, in addition to Renew Financial and several others. Ygrene operates a multistate platform in California, Florida, and Georgia, and Renovate's HERO program is located throughout California. Renovate has financed the most residential PACE projects and recently announced the creation of more than 10,000 local jobs since their program launch 4Q 2011.

"What you see in California is the power of momentum and proof of concept," stated Ari Matusiak, Executive Vice-President of Renovate America. When residents gain access to PACE, it becomes "a mechanism for communities to accomplish their goals." Matusiak also mentioned the need for establishing consumer protections and more standards for market confidence.

PACE Nation quote #2Commercial PACE, or "C-PACE," firms include PACE Equity, Clean Fund, Greenworks Lending, and Ygrene among others. In addition to California, successful C-PACE programs have been launched in Connecticut, Missouri, and Florida. To date, 734 commercial properties, such as office buildings, multifamily, and small retail, have installed $252 million of mostly energy efficiency upgrades. Buildings owned by nonprofits, like churches, and even government-owned properties have utilized PACE in addition to being leveraged by developers to perform gut rehabs and even new construction. For developers, PACE is particularly attractive as a supplementary source of upfront-financing which adds instant equity and helps get projects over the finish line.

Two tracks: commercial and residential

There are significant differences in the way C-PACE and residential PACE are marketed and sold. C-PACE projects need custom handling by project originators, clean energy companies, and program administrators. These projects are usually dealt with on a case-by-case basis, whereas residential PACE projects are treated with a more “one-size-fits-all” approach. Successful residential programs utilize automated technology platforms to underwrite and approve financing for homeowners in a matter of minutes. One innovation being pioneered by Ygrene allows for smaller C-PACE projects (up to $300,000) to be folded into their residential underwriting track, what the firm refers to as "resi-mercial." Often times there are difficulties in finding funding for smaller commercial projects and this blending of C-PACE and R-PACE is a welcome evolution.

PACE Nation quote #2In the opening plenary of the summit, some concerns were expressed regarding a proposed regulatory change in how PACE assessments are treated as either super-senior liens (like a property tax) or as subordinate to primary mortgages.

Jessica Bailey of Greenworks Lending urged caution. "The concern is that if the residential market starts moving towards a subordination piece at the policy level and we start telling states, 'Hey, it's okay, pass junior-lien PACE,'—we've never seen a junior-lien commercial PACE deal done. We just haven't. It hasn't worked yet."

PACE Nation quote #2It was suggested that C-PACE needs the competitive advantage that the super-senior lien status provides.

Spreading at a fast clip

In an environment where politics are increasingly becoming divisive, PACE is a shining beacon of bipartisan support. PACE enabling legislation has already passed in 30 states covering 80% of the U.S. population with approximately 15 active programs in operation. But more importantly, perhaps, is the informed prediction that PACE programs will soon be available to at least 90% of America's property owners—and it all comes down to its wide appeal.

From its inception, PACE pioneers immediately recognized its unique political positioning and began to promote its job creation and revenue neutral attributes in addition to the environmental benefits associated with clean-energy. Consequently, PACE legislation has mostly enjoyed a "transpartisan allure" successfully passing in both Republican and Democratically-controlled legislatures.

"It has no mandates, no subsidies, states' rights and local control," said Jeff Tannenbaum in a Bloomberg article published last year. "[PACE financing] speaks to the Tea Party platform, as well as the Democratic Party's program of job creation."

Tannenbaum, founder and president of Fir Tree Partners, a New York-based investment firm with $13 billion in assets, helped found PACE Now, which is now officially re-naming itself PACE Nation. Throughout the evolution of PACE, Tannenbaum's organization has acted as the central nexus for industry stakeholders attempting to metabolize regulatory setbacks, surmount legal hurdles, and promote efforts to spread the evangel.

PACE Nation quote #2"PACE Nation is a great vehicle for individuals and organizations to join and to share their experience and to share their knowledge and to create a movement that allows them to achieve whatever their goals are," stated David Gabrielson, executive director of the advocacy group. "Making money, saving the planet, creating jobs…but whatever those goals are, there are none of them that are mutually exclusive."

The PACE Nation Summit 2016 was the first of its kind and scale. There was a palpable sense that the nearly 400 industry leaders in attendance were witness to the start of a national movement—it's a movement driven by an innovative funding mechanism that, as some expressed, will eventually become a part of every real estate transaction.

"What was evident to me early on was the chance to create a product, a company, and an industry, and do it all at one time, is an exceedingly rare, and even a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Lemyre.

PACE Nation quote #2If the data-backed expansion and growth projections for PACE financing are true, we can be safe to assume that PACE will be a real "game-changer" for clean-energy development. It already is a proven job creator. And, it's a triple-bottom line way to significantly mitigate climate change. Many expert observers have concluded that in the final analysis PACE will be seen as having been a fundamental contributor to the much-needed transformation of America's energy portfolio.

Byron DeLear is a clean-energy executive and is program administrator for clean energy programs, including PACE programs, in Missouri and Arkansas.


NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
February 9, 2016

Contact: Maggie Crane: 314.622.4072

Set the PACE St. Louis Helps Breathe New Life into Abandoned Buildings; Closes Financing for Two Redevelopment Conversions

Set the PACE St. Louis has closed financing for two redevelopments in the Central West End and Soulard neighborhoods. A project on Olive is turning a vacant warehouse and adjoining multi-family building into a mixed-use residential and commercial development. And, an old school is undergoing a transformation to new loft apartments.

Above: Rendering of 4534 Olive as a mixed-use residential and commercial development. Rendering: Acturis Enlarged view.

Left: 4534 Olive before construction started on the vacant warehouse (center) and adjoining 3-story building (far left). Photo: nextSTL.com Enlarged view.

 
4534 Olive
Located in the Central West End on Olive between Euclid and Taylor, this project by Rothschild Development Ltd. will combine a vacant warehouse and an adjoining multi-family building into a mixed-use residential and commercial development totaling 33 residential units and three thousand square feet of retail. (top image) Upon completion, four additional stories will be added to the warehouse. The existing multifamily building will undergo historic renovation and will contain four of the project's 33 residential units. Associated Bank is the construction lender, Arcturis is the architectural firm, and Blackline Design & Construction is the general contractor. Completion of construction is planned for late this summer. PACE Equity is funding the $600,000+ PACE-loan over 19 years to achieve this energy efficient project. Utility savings of $1.6 million are expected, using energy efficient measures such as LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC, and building envelope improvements.

Architectural Plans for Lafayette Loft Apartments Plans for Lafayette Loft Apartments. Enlarged view. Credit: Advantes Group
Lafayette Loft Apartments
Located at 815 Ann Avenue in the Historic Soulard neighborhood, this project will redevelop the former Lafayette Elementary School into multifamily loft apartments. Designed by William B. Ittner, the historic Lafayette school was completed in 1907 and closed in 2004. The developer and general contractor, Advantes Group, plans to convert the classrooms into 36 loft apartments over three floors while transforming the gymnasium into covered secured parking in addition to solar-energy panels on the school building roof. Confluence Design Group is the designer for this residential conversion. Lafayette Loft Apartments is using a $600,000+ PACE-loan to generate an expected $1.6 million in utility savings over the life of the 20-year loan. Energy efficiency measures include window replacements, LED lighting, building envelope improvements, and a roof replacement. In addition to financing the PACE loan, PACE Equity will also be responsible for the project governance and energy engineering. Completion is expected in fall of 2016.

4534 Olive project rendering


"With the addition of these two latest projects which include more than $1.3M of clean energy property improvements, the program is diversifying the way this innovative financing tool can be utilized by City property owners."
 
Left: Empty since 2004, historic Lafayette School is being converted into loft apartments. Photo: nextSTL.com. Right: "Back to school" as construction begins at Lafayette Elementary School for the Lafayette Loft Apartments. Photo: Advantes Group 

Quotes on Set the PACE St. Louis financing of two redevelopment projects:

Otis Williams Both projects are excellent examples of creative reuse of underutilized and vacant properties. We intend for Set the PACE St. Louis to be part of more future redevelopment projects in the City of St. Louis,” said Otis Williams, Executive Director of the St. Louis Development Corporation.
Catherine Werner As more property owners and developers become aware of how to utilize the City’s energy efficiency financing tool, the economic, social, and environmental impacts will multiply. “With broad usage, Set the PACE St. Louis can help buildings become more energy and water efficient, contributing to our target of reaching 25% reduction of citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2020,” said Catherine Werner, Director of Sustainability for the City of St. Louis.
Byron DeLear These projects concluded a year of successful Set the PACE St. Louis projects; we are pleased to help the City find more ways to offer creative energy efficiency financing,” said program administrator, Byron DeLear.

Anne Murphy Hill and Tom AppelbaumPACE Equity logo
PACE Equity provided project development and financing for both projects and worked closely with the City’s Clean Energy Development Board (CEDB) to ensure a streamlined approval process.


Above: Anne Murphy Hill of PACE Equity, and Tom Appelbaum, program administrator, address the Clean Energy Development Board (CEDB) regarding the financing of the two redevelopment projects.

CEDB on Oct. 22, 2015

Above: Clean Energy Development Board of the City of St. Louis 


St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor TribuneCNR logo
October 2, 2015

IBEW/NECA delivering energy efficient upgrades to historic Missouri Athletic Club

Kaemmerlen Electric managing electrical work for $2.4 Million project

IBEW/NECA are teaming up to help make the historic Missouri Athletic Club more energy efficient with an innovative way of funding the improvements.

The $2.4 million project is being financed through Set the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) St. Louis and is the largest of its kind in the nation this year.

St. Louis-based Kaemmerlen Electric is managing the electrical upgrades. Kaemmerlen is part of the Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association.

FINANCING
PACE provides financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades, which can be spread out for up to 20 years, so annual loan payments are offset by energy savings.

According to Byron DeLear of Energy Equity Funding LLC, which administers the Set the PACE St. Louis program, MAC’s cost savings from the improvements would begin at about $200,000 annually and could total $362,000 by the 20th year. Set the PACE St. Louis was launched in 2013.

IBEW logo

IMPROVEMENTS
“The skills of the IBEW/NECA team give the MAC the best opportunity to reap the full cost saving benefits of the PACE program,” said DeLear. “This includes greater long-term property value.” The improvements to the MAC will include energy management controls, HVAC upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, and new on-site steam generation.

The MAC’s downtown location at 405 Washington was built in 1916 and is now is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Given the number of historic and aging structures in St. Louis, we believe the PACE program is a great asset to the city of St. Louis’ sustainability plan and something our highly skilled workforce can deliver outstanding results,” said Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs.

The MAC’s downtown location at 405 Washington was built in 1916 and is now is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Given the number of historic and aging structures in St. Louis, we believe the PACE program is a great asset to the city of St. Louis’ sustainability plan and something our highly skilled workforce can deliver outstanding results,” said Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs.

CLEARING BARRIERS
“One of the biggest barriers to energy efficient improvements is upfront financing,” added Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter, NECA. “PACE provides a sensible way to spread out costs and make best use of the financing by engaging our NECA electrical contractors’ proficiencies in engineering and managing energy efficient upgrades, including renewable energy.”

Nationally, commercial PACE programs are found in more than 30 states, where 330 property owners have used more than $123 million in PACE financing to upgrade their buildings, according to PACENow, a national PACE advocacy organization.

“We continue to seek out progressive partners, such as the PACE program, to leverage the skills and safety of our IBEW/NECA team to deliver the best value in new construction and renovations,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.


Saint Louis Construction News and ReviewCNR logo
August 8, 2015

IBEW/NECA in St. Louis Teaming To Deliver Electrical Upgrades in Nation's Largest PACE Clean-Energy Project

All eyes are on an innovative way of funding energy efficiency improvements to aging structures as IBEW/NECA team to help make the historic Missouri Athletic Club more energy efficient. The $2.4 million project is being financed through Set the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) St. Louis and is the largest of its kind in the nation this year. St. Louis-based Kaemmerlen Electric is managing the electrical upgrades. Kaemmerlen is part of the Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association.

PACE provides financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades which can be spread out for up to 20 years so annual loan payments are offset by energy savings. According to Byron DeLear of Energy Equity Funding LLC, which administers the Set the PACE St. Louis program, MAC’s cost savings from the improvements would begin at about $200,000 annually and could total $362,000 by year 2020. Set the PACE St. Louis was launched in 2013.

“The skills of the IBEW/NECA team give the MAC the best opportunity to reap the full cost saving benefits of the PACE program,” said DeLear. “This includes greater long-term property value.”  The improvements to the MAC will include energy management controls, HVAC upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, and new on-site steam generation.

The MAC’s downtown location at 405 Washington was built in 1916 and is now is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Given the number of historic and aging structures in St. Louis, we believe the PACE program is a great asset to the city of St. Louis’ sustainability plan and something our highly skilled workforce can deliver outstanding results,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local One. 

“One of the biggest barriers to energy efficient improvements is upfront financing,” added Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter, NECA. “PACE provides a sensible way to spread out costs and make best use of the financing by engaging our NECA electrical contractors’ proficiencies in engineering and managing energy efficient upgrades, including renewable energy.”

Nationally, commercial PACE programs are found in more than 30 states, where 330 property owners have used more than $123 million in PACE financing to upgrade their buildings, according to PACE Now, a national PACE advocacy organization.

“We continue to seek out progressive partners, such as the PACE program, to leverage the skills and safety of our IBEW/NECA team to deliver the best value in new construction and renovations,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.


Set the PACE St. Louis program administrator presents to NECA at Missouri Athletic Club

NECA logoOn August 4, 2015, Energy Equity Funding (EEF) presented the benefits of PACE financing to the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) St. Louis Chapter. In a fortuitist planning, the NECA membership meeting was held at the Missouri Athletic Club downtown clubhouse, currently undergoing the nation's largest PACE-financed retrofit in 2015. Click to enlarge images.

EEF's Tom Appelbaum (left, middle row) and Byron DeLear stressed how electrical contractors need to know about PACE and how its innovative financing can often enable property owners to afford energy upgrades on their commercial buildings in the City of St. Louis. They also pointed out that the PACE program supports good-paying union jobs.

Jim Curran, (right, middle row) executive vice president, Electrical Connection introduced EEF and discussed how the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 1 and NECA were some of the early supporters of the PACE legislation in Missouri in 2010.

Doug Martin, (bottom row, on right talking with Appelbaum and DeLear) executive vice president, NECA, St. Louis Chapter used the Missouri Athletic Club as an example of union involvement with PACE-financed projects. He noted that Kaemmerlen Electric, a long member of IBEW Local 1 and a registered contractor with Set the PACE St. Louis is the lead electrical contractor on the project.


Missouri Athletic ClubMAC video screen grab
Jim Wilson, Director of Communications 2:15 min video
July 24, 2015

Missouri Athletic Club produces 2 minute video on energy efficiency retrofit announcement

Video produced by Missouri Athletic Club who are proud to announce the largest energy efficiency retrofit project in the nation this year among all PACE programs. It really shows how St. Louis is "setting the pace" for clean energy! Thank you Missouri Athletic Club and Mayor Slay for showcasing this great project.


NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
July 14, 2015

Contact: Maggie Crane: 314.622.4072

Missouri Athletic Club announces $2.4M energy-efficiency retrofit with Set the PACE St. Louis

Missouri Athletic Club announces $2.4M energy-efficiency retrofit of downtown building

Largest project in the nation among all PACE programs for 2015 with energy savings projected at more than $200,000 per year.

In a morning press conference, the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) announced a $2.4 million energy-efficiency retrofit of their iconic downtown St. Louis landmark building, using PACE financing through Set the PACE St. Louis.

Property improvements on the iconic landmark will include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades, state-of-the-art energy management controls, and other high-efficiency measures which are projected to generate more than $200,000 in annual energy savings. Click to enlarge poster on right or images below.

"The City's stock in old buildings cannot keep up with demands for energy efficiency without some major retrofits, which can be expensive," said Mayor Francis Slay (top image). "We created Set the PACE St. Louis to ease the burden and encourage savings—both financially and environmentally—for business owners to use."

Press conference at MAC announcing $2.4M retrofit of historic downtown clubhouse

"There really aren't any downsides with energy performance upgrades," said Byron DeLear (middle left) of Energy Equity Funding, program administrator for Set the PACE St. Louis. "We've had 12 successful projects, including an award-winning solar installation at Four Muddy Paws, a project recognized by PACE Now, a national PACE advocacy organization, as being the fastest to be completed following program launch."

"We are also very excited that our program is helping to support good-paying, union jobs such as pipefitters, insulation contractors, and electricians," said DeLear. "Examples are Kaemmerlen Electric and Corrigan Co. who have both started work on the MAC retrofit. Kaemmerlen Electric is a registered contractor with Set the PACE St. Louis and has been a union shop with IBEW since 1947."

"There are challenges in maintaining a building of this age," said MAC President Brent Kaniecki (middle right). "The PACE program has made it possible for our Club to lead on this issue by serving as a model for other local businesses to make energy-efficient upgrades of their own."

"Our downtown clubhouse was the first building west of the Mississippi to have air conditioning, and it has those original, custom-built air handlers," said Wally Smith, general manager of the MAC. "When we were made aware that we could pay for upgrading our systems with energy savings, it really was a 'no-brainer' for us. Set the PACE St. Louis fulfilled a need that's going to ensure the preservation of the City landmark for generations to come."

"We became a Set the PACE St. Louis 'Program Ambassador' because we see the PACE concept as a great way to deploy energy-savings performance services to the private sector," said Scott Hardwick, contracting solutions manager for Trane, which is providing project management and energy-efficient systems and services for the MAC.

Set the PACE St. Louis supports an "open-finance model," which allows local lenders, banks, and other funding sources to participate in project financing. A local funding source—Jefferson Bank and Trust—is providing project financing for the MAC, and as a St. Louis-based institution, has the added benefit of keeping the flow of capital within the community.

The cornerstone of the Missouri Athletic Club Downtown Clubhouse was dedicated in a ceremony in 1915 with its doors opening for business the following year. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property is a rare example of a building that has never changed its primary purpose or use for 100 years.

Click here to download full news release, including additional information on the Missouri Athletic Club, Energy Equity Funding and TRANE, Inc.


KDNL-Channel 30/ABC St. LouisKDNL screen shot of Set the PACE feature
By Aisha Khan 2:30 min video
July 28, 2015

KDNL-Channel 30, The Allman Report features Set the PACE St. Louis

Go green. Save some "green". KDNL reporter Aisha Khan does an excellent two and half minute video featuring Set the PACE St. Louis. showing our first project at Four Muddy Paws, quoting co-owner Jeff Jensen and then covering Missouri Athletic Club's recent announcement of their $2.4 million energy efficiency retrofit. Missouri Athletic Club's CFO Larry Absheer and Facility Manager Skip Bowders are both interviewed.


St. Louis Business JournalSt. Louis Business Journal masthead
By Diana Barr
July 14, 2015

Missouri Athletic Club plugs in $2 million energy update

The Missouri Athletic Club's historic downtown clubhouse will undergo a $2.4 million energy-efficiency retrofit, with financing through the Set the PACE St. Louis clean-energy program.

The MAC's clubhouse at 405 Washington Ave., which opened in 1916, will see upgrades to its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and new energy management controls, among other upgrades. HVAC supplier Trane, which has a local office in Fenton, is providing project management and systems for the upgrade.

Set the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) St. Louis, part of the city's sustainability plan, provides low-cost, long-term (up to 20 years) financing for energy efficiency/renewable energy upgrades. The program, launched in July 2013, allows city property owners to finance qualifying upgrades through fixed, voluntary assessments on their property.

To see remainder of article, click here.


The Missouri Times logo

The Missouri Times
By Collin Reischman
July 14, 2015

St. Louis MAC preps for $2.4 million PACE retrofit

Saint Louis, Mo. — The Missouri Athletic Club is beginning a $2.4 million energy-efficiency retrofitting of its historic downtown clubhouse through the City's "Set the PACE St. Louis" clean-energy financing program, officials announced today.

The project is expected to provide $200K in annual savings and will include improvements to the heating and cooling systems, among other improvements.

To see remainder of article, click here.


St. Louis Post-DispatchBuilding Blocks—the Ins and Outs of St. Louis Real Estate and Development from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Tim Bryant
July 13, 2015

MAC to get PACE help for HVAC

The historic Missouri Athletic Club will get a $2.4 million energy efficiency retrofit with help from the city's Set the PACE St. Louis program.

Upgrades to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems will be part of the project city officials are scheduled to announce Tuesday. Also planned are the latest in energy management controls that, combined with the new gear, are projected to save the MAC $200,000 in annual energy costs.

Set the PACE St. Louis is among Mayor Francis Slay's sustainability efforts. The program provides what the mayor's office calls innovative financing solutions for property owners to upgrade their buildings, save on utility bills and advance the city’s broader environmental, social and economic goals. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy.

Under the program, project financing can be spread out for longer terms—up to 20 years—so that annual loan payments are offset by energy savings.

The MAC's cornerstone went down in 1915 at 405 Washington Avenue. The building, designed by renowned architect William Ittner, opened a year later. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nationally, commercial PACE programs are active in 22 states, where 330 property owners have used more than $123 million in PACE financing to upgrade their buildings, according to PACENow, a national PACE advocacy organization. Set the PACE St. Louis began in 2013.


City of St. Louis, Missouri website masthead

NEWS ALERT
City of St. Louis, Missouri
July 13, 2015

The Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) will announce a $2.4 million energy-efficiency retrofit on its downtown clubhouse with the City's Set the PACE St. Louis

When: 07/14/15, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Event Type: Community Event
Location: Missouri Athletic Club, 405 Washington Ave. St. Louis, MO 63102
Admission:
Free
Description:
The historic Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) will announce a $2.4 million energy-efficiency retrofit on its downtown clubhouse with the City's Set the PACE St. Louis clean-energy financing program — the largest PACE-financed project in the country this year.

As part of Mayor Slay's sustainability efforts, Set the PACE St.Louis provides innovative financing solutions for property owners to upgrade their buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save on utility bills, and advance the City's broader environmental, social and economic goals.

Examples of projects include high-efficiency lighting, roofs, heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades and controls, boilers, furnaces and water heating systems, as well as renewable energy systems such as solar PV panels and fuel cells.

"The City's stock of old buildings cannot keep up with demands for energy efficiency without some major retrofits, which can be expensive," Mayor Francis Slay said. "We created Set the PACE St. Louis to ease the burden and encourage savings — both financially and environmentally — for business owners to use."

Who:
Mayor Francis Slay
Byron DeLear, program administrator, Set the PACE St.Louis
Brent Kaniecki, Missouri Athletic Club


Set the PACE St. Louis contractor forum

Contractor Forum and Information Session for Set the PACE St. Louis on June 24, 2015, 10:30 am to noon

Learn about new financing options that have recently become available to the program. These options can provide more flexibility for commercial property owners needing to finance their energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects.

  • WHAT: Contractor Forum and Information Session for Set the PACE St. Louis
  • WHEN: 10:30 am to noon, Wed., June 24, 2015
  • WHERE: Ameren Auditorium, 1901 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103-3085
  • NOTE: Photo ID Required for Entry
Information flyer for contractor forum on 6/24/15Commercial Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Contractors Register Here.

Join Energy Equity Funding (program administrator for Set the PACE St. Louis) to discuss how PACE financing can help grow your business in the City of St. Louis.

CONTRACTOR FORUM AND INFORMATION SESSION AGENDA:

  1. Update on Set the PACE St. Louis program, including new financing options
  2. Update on the market and trends in energy efficiency/renewable energy
  3. How to use Set the PACE St. Louis to increase your sales and close major projects

Download PDF information flyer

Information flyer for contractor forum on 6/24/15 Energy Equity Funding principals Tom Appelbaum (pictured on left) and Byron DeLear will conduct the informational session for contractors, energy auditors and consultants to learn about Set the PACE St. Louis financing options and increased sales opportunities for contractors. They will cover contractor participation terms and conditions, registration requirements, as well as program rules and financing criteria. New financing options that have recently become available will be discussed and how property owners can benefit from the added flexibility.

Commercial Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Contractors Register Here. Attendees must register ahead of time, and bring photo ID for entry.

Find out why you should be a Set the PACE St. Louis registered contractor and promote PACE financing to your customers who are commercial building owners in the City of St. Louis. The free information session runs from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm and is open to all contractors, energy auditors, and consultants who work in the City of St. Louis.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Jacob Barker
March 13, 2015

Scaling up Energy Efficiency in Missouri and Illinois Multifamily Affordable Housing

The people who would benefit most from energy-efficiency programs are often the ones who can least afford to take advantage of them.

But a national environmental group pledges to push Missouri regulators and housing agencies to adopt new electricity conservation policies for affordable, multifamily housing.

"These are the people who need efficiency most," said Rebecca Stanfield (bottom left in images below), a deputy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Midwest program.

Wrapup meeting on energy savings potential for affordable multifamily housing in Missouri

Stanfield and other efficiency and housing advocates gathered at the Renaissance Place apartments Friday, near the former Blumeyer public housing high-rise at Grand Center, to release a new study on efficiency savings in similar properties.

NRDC and other national groups released the Missouri report in collaboration with a group of state policymakers and experts. The group estimates that Missouri multifamily properties with occupants who make 80 percent or less of the area's median income — or $53,700 or less for a family of four — could reduce energy consumption by 15 percent over the next 20 years. That's about 358 gigawatt hours' worth, or roughly the equivalent of the Callaway nuclear power plant running at full capacity for 12.5 days.

In Ameren Missouri's territory, the report estimates affordable housing customers could save 150 gigawatt hours of electricity through 2034.

Often, utility efficiency incentives cover only a portion of the cost of a new appliance, and lower-income households struggle to participate. But they still pay the additional charge on their electric bill that induces utilities to encourage energy-saving measures.

"Nonparticipants are often left with a higher rate and a higher bill, and that mostly affects low-income residents," said Geoff Marke (middle left in images), an economist with the Missouri Office of Public Counsel, which advocates for ratepayers in regulatory matters.

Owners of multifamily housing also have less incentive to participate because their tenants often pay the utility bills, so owners don't directly save.

The report recommends new policies specifically targeting affordable multifamily housing. Stanfield said the NRDC and others will recommend them in Ameren's next three-year cycle of energy efficiency programs, currently pending before the Missouri Public Service Commission.

"We intend to advocate these recommendations in every forum available in the state," she said.

One issue is that there are barriers in Missouri's low-income housing tax credit law that could limit building owners participating in that program from also using utility-funded efficiency incentives, according to the report.

More financial incentives from utilities will be the biggest driver, proponents said, but new programs or requirements from the Missouri Housing Development Commission and other agencies could also help.

"Maybe there should be a greater incentive for owners of affordable, multifamily housing because they're not going to reap the benefits on a monthly basis, their tenants are," said Dana Gray (middle right in images), a community development coordinator for the Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corp.

There are some market incentives, she noted: Lower energy bills mean landlords are more likely to get their rent checks. Jim Armstrong, of Lockheed-Martin Energy Solutions, also said there were market benefits for owners.

"There's an understanding that the occupancy rate goes up with these efficiency measures," he said.

Ameren participated as an observer in the study's development but has not yet endorsed the findings. But Tim Via, Ameren Missouri's manager of the low-income multifamily program, pointed out that the utility had recently amended one of its incentive programs. The utility will now help with retrofits on complexes that are 51 percent federally subsidized, instead of 100 percent.

However, Ameren is exceeding its goal for energy-efficiency savings with programs already in place. Plus, Ameren has proposed reducing its energy savings target by half in the next cycle of the efficiency program, which begins next year.

Note: Set the PACE St. Louis and Energy Equity Funding were active participants in these series of meetings and discussions hosted by the NRDC and others. We will continue to offer services, including PACE financing to owners of multifamily housing so they can perform cost-effective, energy efficiency retrofits. The goal is to have a lower cost to maintain their property so the owner can pass a sizable portion of the resulting energy savings to their tenants. The NRDC's summary report can be downloaded here.


February 11, 2015

PACE Equity and Energetics present projects and capabilities at February 2015 CEDB meeting

PACE Equity and Energistics showcase clean energy projects underway at February CEDB meeting

Anne Hill (top left image) presented for PACE Equity to the Clean Energy Development Board (pictured in bottom image), the oversight committee of Set the PACE St. Louis. PACE Equity is working on several projects in the St. Louis area, and Ms. Hill explained how their turnkey project development, financing and energy engineering services could work well with Set the PACE St. Louis. Click to enlarge images.

Fred Lafser (top right image) and Ganen Lafser (middle right image) of Energistics discussed several solar projects underway in the City of St. Louis, including the installation of a 58.32kW system in a gas station/convenience shop near North Tucker and Cass Ave. The facility will feature bi-facial modules across the location's canopies, carports and awnings (pictured in middle left), meaning the solar panels will have BiPV solar electrical-producing modules on both the up and down-facing sides of the panels. This will result in 35% more electrical production, with 74.033 kWh expected to be produced from the system.


July 7, 2014

Enterprise Sustainability Platform schematic of Talisen TechEddie Williams of Talisen Tech

Talisen Tech presents at July CEDB meeting

Eddie Williams (pictured to right) of Talisen Technologies, presented the company's capabilities to the Clean Energy Development Board, the oversight committee of Set the PACE St. Louis. Talisen Tech, headquartered in the St. Louis area is a software developer that specializes in products that analyze data in order to moniter energy systems and status on critical infrastructure. Mr. Williams' talk explained how modules serve as building blocks for Talisen's "Enterprise Sustainability Platform" which can display a broad range of systems in a single panel (image from slide pictured above). Talisen Tech anticipates that PACE financing will increase their commercial business, already at 10,000 facilities worldwide. Clients include both government and private corporations, including Nestle Purina, the state of Missouri and Boeing.


May 20, 2014

National organizations and agencies meet to advance energy efficiency in multifamily buildings with affordable housing in Missouri and Illinois

Sponsoring group logos and images from May 20, 2014 meeting on financing energy efficiency upgrades on multifamily housing in MO and ILEnergy Equity Funding, program administrator of Set the PACE St. Louis, presented to a diverse group of national, state and local government agencies and private organizations on May 20, 2014. Participants discussed how to enable more energy efficiency retrofits in multifamily buildings with affordable housing, which would result in lower utility bills for tenants. Meeting in Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center, this 2nd of 5 seminars focused on the key issues surrounding financing for multifamily building owners wanting to perform energy efficiency retrofits. The seminar series is sponsored by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and the National Housing Trust.

Tom Appelbaum (pictured on right) and Byron DeLear of Energy Equity Funding discussed how PACE financing is leading the energy efficiency market transformation. Property owners are beginning to realign their thinking and look at PACE financing as a mechanism that will make the property upgrades affordable, reduce utility costs and create positive cash flow.

Energy Equity Funding will continue to contribute in the remaining seminars with the shared goal of arriving at recommendations that stakeholders can implement to help streamline the process for multifamily building owners to make energy efficiency upgrades. Multifamily housing makes up a large percentage of the housing in the City, and an estimated 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the City of St. Louis come from its buildings. PACE financing makes a difference by solving the upfront cost barrier with low interest rates and loans payable up to 20 years.

In the near future, Set the PACE St. Louis will reach out to the 1,000+ City building owners with 6 or more family units in the rental housing market. Set the PACE St. Louis already streamlines the financial approval process. Along with new recommendations from these seminars and outreach efforts, multifamily building owners will be more aware of how energy efficiency retrofits are an affordable win for them, their tenants and the City of St. Louis.


April 27, 2014

Mayor Slay and others at Set the PACE St. Louis table at Earth Day

Set the PACE St. Louis joins Earth Day Festival at Forest Park

Sunday, April 27, 2014 was St. Louis' designated celebration for Earth Day. Set the PACE St. Louis set up within the City of St. Louis' booth in Forest Park.

Top image: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and the City's sustainability director Catherine Werner visit Set the PACE St. Louis table.

Our table featured Set the PACE St. Louis literature, boards showing our residential and commercial registered contractors and our new video explaining the advantages of PACE financing for building owners and contractors.


April 17, 2014

Global Solutions Summit in Washington, D.C. brings together cleantech entrepreneurs and finance

Byron DeLear of Energy Equity Funding, program administrator for Set the PACE St. Louis, traveled to Washington, D.C. to present at the Global Solutions Summit, held at the State Department and the Atlantic Council, April 16-17 in Washington, D.C.

US map showing states that have enacted PACE legislationTo meet rising environmental and demographic challenges, the urgent need for unparalleled, multi-disciplinary innovation coupled with funding support was the general focus of the Global Solutions Summit. The summit covered clean energy solutions and how they can address climate change and help transform our society and civilization to higher levels of sustainability. PACE financing and program highlights from Set the PACE St. Louis were featured.

The event brought together clean-technology entrepreneurs, educators, sustainability experts and a broad selection of fund managers, financiers and government facilitators. The groups represented some serious financial muscle that can really move the conversation forward. An example was one of the sponsoring organizations, P80 Group Foundation who represents sovereign wealth and pension funds that total more than $40 trillion dollars in assets.

Read Byron's full report at the National Progressive Examiner.


Post Dispatch Business 10/13/13Greentech Media and PACE Now
Katherine Tweed
January 3, 2014

5 PACE Programs to Watch in 2014
(Set the PACE St. Louis makes the list!)

Move over, Connecticut and California.
PACE allows investments in energy-efficiency retrofits and distributed renewable generation to be paid back through a tax that is tied to the property, which lowers the risk for both lenders and owners and can potentially open up a far larger swath of the energy efficiency market.

California and Connecticut are already two of the most important states for commercial PACE because of the number and scope of their programs. California has taken a city-by-city approach, while Connecticut has employed a state-level approach.

But there are other regions to watch in 2014 as legislators and regulators design unique programs and learn from pioneering states. Click here to get the whole story.

Thanks to Greentech Media and PACE Now for the recognition!


UrbanFUTURE
Fanning Middle School
Tower Grove South neighborhoodByron DeLear talking about sustainability at Fanning Middle School as part of Urban Future leadership program
December 9, 2013

Teaching middle school students about clean energy,
Set the PACE St. Louis and sustainability

As part of Set the PACE St. Louis outreach, we help local educators share with their students knowledge of the City's sustainability efforts and the reasons why these efforts exist.

We taught the beautiful students about clean energy, Set the PACE St. Louis and the need to heal the planet at Fanning Middle School as part of the UrbanFUTURE leadership program. They are inheriting a world facing some very difficult environmental challenges and we must transform our global society into adopting a harmonious relationship with the garden (Mother Earth) that sustains us.

Further, we have a moral responsibility to prevent the mass extinction of the species we share the Earth with due to human-caused environmental degradation. Initiatives like Set the PACE St. Louis are part of sustainability efforts that together help this transformation take shape. There is amazing work being done by educators like Thomas Henry Culhane to foster this shift in consciousness.

We asked the students to compose different slogans for the first image shown above. The one that was chosen was: "The world is in our hands—it's up to us."

To learn more about UrbanFUTURE, click here. To learn more about the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan, click here.


Nov. 14, 2013

Set the PACE St. Louis is among fastest to fund project from program launch

There are currently 31 states and the District of Columbia that have enacted PACE legislation (green in map below). PACE Now, a national PACE advocacy group recently noted the speed that funding was completed for the solar install project at Four Muddy Paws:

US map showing states that have enacted PACE legislation"We are pleased to see PACE financing catch on in more and more states. In Missouri, a successful program — Set the PACE St. Louis, has demonstrated one of the fastest PACE project completion time from launch! This is an encouraging and inspiring result for other programs across the country."

Kristina Klimovich
Director, Communications and Market Research
PACE Now

To see more about PACE Now, click here.


NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
Nov. 1, 2013

Microgrid Solar announces first Set the PACE St. Louis solar installation at Four Muddy Paws

First Set the PACE St. Louis solar installation for Microgrid Solar SAINT LOUIS, MO — St. Louis based Microgrid Solar is proud to announce the first solar installation in conjunction with the City's Set the PACE St. Louis (PACE) program. PACE, or "Property Assessed Clean Energy", is a City of St. Louis program administered by Energy Equity Funding, LLC, and financed by PNC Bank. Matt Brazelton (left) and Jeff Jensen, co-owners of Four Muddy Paws in Lafayette Square are proud to participate in the program that offers low cost financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the City of St. Louis commercial building owners. See more by clicking here.


KTRS AM radioPost Dispatch Business 10/13/13
Host: Jean Ponzi
Aired: October 13, 2013

Interview on KTRS radio program: Growing Green
St. Louis with Jean Ponzi

On October 2, 2013, Jean Ponzi, host of the KTRS radio program, Growing Green St. Louis interviewed Tom & LaDonna Appelbaum and Byron DeLear of Energy Equity Funding, administrators of the City of St. Louis' Set the PACE St. Louis program. The interview aired on October 13, 2013.

To play the mp3 podcast, click here. To download the "Growing Green 10-13-13" mp3 podcast and learn more about "Green Jean" and her weekly Sunday radio program on KTRS, click here.


St. Louis Post-DispatchPost Dispatch Business 10/13/13
By Jeffrey Tomich
October 13, 2013

St. Louis energy savings program gets rolling

Four Muddy Paws co-owners Jeff Jensen and Matt Brazelton have a mission to make their Lafayette Square pet boutique as eco-friendly as possible.

Their efforts include installing an energy-efficient air conditioning system, using recycled materials and upgrading to LED lighting. But when they looked to add a rooftop solar array, the $33,000 price tag (before incentives) had them in search of financing options.

In the end, they chose a new city-sponsored program, Set the PACE St. Louis, which launched in July to help property owners finance energy-efficiency projects and renewable energy systems.

For Four Muddy Paws, it was a perfect fit. See more by clicking here.


St. Louis Business JournalTempest Distillery construction start
By Jacob Kirn
Sept. 6, 2013

Distillery coming to midtown

Plans include working with Set the PACE St. Louis for fixed rate, long-term financing for energy upgrades. A small group of investors plans to open a distillery and bar next spring at 3137 Locust St. in midtown. Tempest Distilling & Spirits Co. will be environmentally sustainable in both design and operation, said Joy Christensen, the project’s primary investor and the owner of The Fountain on Locust restaurant, located about a block east from Tempest. See more by clicking here.


PACE Now newsletterPACE Now logo
Sept. 12, 2013

St. Louis is setting the PACE

Property owners can save money by adopting energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. This summer St. Louis launched its "Set the PACE St. Louis" program that is part of the City's sustainability efforts that will enable residential and commercial property owners to finance energy and water efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects. "In less than two months, the program has received applications covering residential and commercial properties totaling a potential $7.4 million in proposed energy retrofits," reports Byron DeLear of Energy Equity Funding, program administrator for Set the PACE St. Louis. Program staff is targeting small and large commercial buildings and industrial structures as well as a number of historic buildings in St. Louis. "Since the launch, we have seen a ton of interest" says DeLear. See more by clicking here.


NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
July 2, 2013

Contact: Maggie Crane: 314.622.4072

City of St. Louis Launches Innovative Energy Improvement Financing Program for Homes and Businesses

SAINT LOUIS, MO — The City of St. Louis today launched an innovative method for property owners to finance clean energy and energy efficiency improvements for their homes or businesses. As part of the City's sustainability efforts, the Set the PACE St. Louis program enables residential and commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades with a novel funding mechanism that offers distinct advantages over traditional loans.

The three primary objectives of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program are: (1) encourage energy efficiency in buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, (2) reduce energy costs and promote utility savings for building owners, and (3) foster green jobs and boost local employment opportunities.

Some of the many eligible projects include energy efficiency measures, high-efficiency lighting, roofs, heating ventilation air-conditioning (HVAC) upgrades and controls, boilers, furnaces and water heating systems, as well as renewable energy systems such as solar PV panels and fuel cells.

In addition to low interest rates, PACE financing has distinct advantages over traditional loans:

  • PACE loan stays with the property upon sale transferring to the new owner
  • Commercial property owners may pass payments through to tenants
  • Preservation of borrowing capacity through off-balance–sheet financing
"I have established a target of achieving 25 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020; this financing program will help us meet that environmental target while also saving people money and boosting local employment," said Mayor Francis Slay. "The City's PACE financing program is an important tool for achieving energy efficiency, one of the pillars of President Obama's newly announced Climate Action Plan."

"By facilitating the installation of energy efficiency measures through this attractive financing option, the City is helping private individuals reduce our carbon footprint," said Catherine Werner, Director of Sustainability for the City of St. Louis. "Set the PACE St. Louis leverages private capital to spur energy efficiency improvements and is revenue neutral to the City."

PACE is a new and growing municipal approach to support clean energy upgrades in buildings. Since 2008, 30 states have adopted PACE enabling legislation, with Missouri passing its enabling law in 2010. An accompanying City ordinance was passed by the Board of Alderman in 2012 forming the Clean Energy Development Board, which serves as the governing body for the program.

Several PACE programs around the country have seen significant successes in lowering energy costs and carbon emissions while stimulating job creation. In four years of operation, Sonoma County California's PACE program has funded $61 million of clean energy projects with an estimated 745 jobs either created or retained.

"The initial expenses typically associated with energy savings improvements have been a significant barrier for property owners, especially in our recovering economy," said Tom Appelbaum of Energy Equity Funding, LLC. "PACE addresses this by allowing property owners to pay for improvements by attaching the cost to their property tax bill. Each project can be amortized up to a 20-year period, providing many with a cash-flow positive energy savings solution."

"This is the right kind of public-private partnership to advance economic development and job creation in an environmentally friendly way," said Mayor Slay. "It's a timely idea for budget conscious municipalities like ours to help energize investment and improvement in our City's building infrastructure."

Energy Equity Funding, LLC was selected by the Clean Energy Development Board to administer Set the PACE St. Louis. PNC Bank is working in partnership with the City and Energy Equity Funding as the program's financial partner.

An informational session for Set the PACE St. Louis open to commercial and residential building owners will be held in the Boardroom of the St. Louis Development Corporation, located at 1520 Market Street, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on July 17, 2013.

This session is free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit: SetthePACEStLouis.com

Set the PACE St. Louis
314.499.8756
Watch our video on
the advantages
of PACE financing
See video by Missouri Athletic
Club announcing retrofit of their
downtown St. Louis clubhouse