Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs in Minnesota

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Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the buildings of commercial property owners.

Energy-saving measures pursued by the owners receive project financing and are repaid as a separate item on their property tax assessment for a set period. PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

Download a basic PACE factsheet from CERTs >>

Commercial PACE
   

  Why PACE, and how does it work?

PACE financing helps overcome several barriers to making energy-related building improvements:

   

  • Eliminates high up-front costs
  • Reduces dependence on credit

  • Allows for comprehensive retrofits
  • Allows programs to recoup their costs

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows property owners to finance energy-related improvements to their buildings with affordable, long-term capital.

 
PACE Processes

Minnesota state law allows local units of government to enter into joint powers agreements to create PACE programs. Under this innovative arrangement, commercial, industrial, nonprofit and multihousing property owners can take on voluntary special assessments to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, or electric vehicle infrastructure improvements to their properties. PACE allows companies the opportunity to maintain a positive cash flow while investing in energy upgrades at no cost to taxpayers. PACE financing can also make it easier for building owners to transfer financed improvement repayment to the next owner upon sale, as the repayment resides with the property tax assessment.

 

This video was created by PACE Now, a national clearinghouse for information about PACE.
 

  Can I use PACE to finance building improvements?

Basic qualifications for PACE financing:

  • Property owners must be current on mortgage and property taxes
  • No federal or state liens against the property
  • Must not be in bankruptcy proceeding
  • Lender acknowledgement or “consent” from current mortgage lender
  • Term of financing may not exceed weighted average useful life of improvements
  • Improvements may not exceed 20% of assessed property value
     

If you qualify, you can use PACE where there is an active program. This map shows available PACE programs in Minnesota cities and counties, and also highlights stories about businesses who are using PACE.

 

See full screen and mobile map >>

Want to see all of the stories? You can click here to access a list of all of the PACE stories on the CERTs MN Energy Stories Blog.


See list as separate table   |   Download as a spreadsheet
* SPPA = Saint Paul Port Authority   |   RMEB = Rural Minnesota Energy Board

Don’t see your city or county? If your city or county is not included on the map, they either do not yet have a PACE program or are still in the process of setting one up. Please feel free to contact city and/or county representatives and encourage them to set up a PACE program to help you and others finance building energy improvements. You can reference this page (http://mncerts.org/pace) to direct them to more information.
 

  What programs exist in Minnesota?

There are currently two commercial PACE programs available to Minnesota cities and counties that want to help finance building energy improvements in their jurisdictions.


  Rural Minnesota Energy Board PACE Program

Overview:

An exciting new program that is available to businesses and nonprofits in the Rural Minnesota Energy Board’s counties. This is a program with the potential to benefit business and industry in the area. The program is administered by the Southwest Regional Development Commission. Visit their website >>

Program details:

  • Energy efficient and renewable energy retrofit of existing commercial / industrial buildings
  • Property must be classified as Commercial or Industrial
  • Businesses, multi-family housing, nonprofits, incl. places of worship
  • Applicant(s) is/are the legal owner of the property described in the application.
  • Property must be located in the 18-County RMEB Area. (Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Freeborn, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Mower, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Sibley, Watonwan)
  • Property owner is current on all mortgages. Property owner is not in bankruptcy and the property is not an asset in a bankruptcy.
  • There are no federal or state income liens, judgment liens, or similar involuntary liens on the Property.
  • Must have an Energy Audit performed by approved energy auditor. Must show significant cost savings.
  • Maximum PACE Loan will be up to 20% of the assessed property value or $100,000.
  • Minimum PACE Loan will be $5,000
  • Greater than a 1:1 savings to investment ratio (projected savings based on energy audit should exceed investment costs)
  • Maximum of 20 years to repay loan. Loan term must not exceed estimated life expectancy of improvement.
  • Interest rate determined by RMEB Review Committee, currently 4%
  • 1.0% origination fee

Completed projects:

More information:

Contact information:

  • Robin Weis, Economic Development Director
    Southwest Regional Development Commission
    robin@swrdc.org or 507.836.1638
  • Annette Fiedler, Physical Development Director
    Southwest Regional Development Commission
    phydev@swrdc.org or 507.836.1631
     

  Saint Paul Port Authority PACE Program

Overview:

An exciting new program that is available to businesses and nonprofits in any city or county in Minnesota. Interested counties and cities can work with the Saint Paul Port Authority to set up a program in their jurisdiction. Visit their website >>

Program details:

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy projects anywhere in Minnesota
  • Businesses, multi-family housing, nonprofits, incl. places of worship
  • Interest rate usually under 5% for a term of less than 10 years
  • Term of up to 15 years
  • Amount limited to 20% of assessed property value
  • Primarily for multi-tenant bldgs. & renewable energy projects
  • Host City or County institute a requested special assessment
  • Port Authority issues debt & administers program
  • 100% financing and immediate positive cash flow

Completed projects:

More information:

Contact information:

  • Peter Klein, Vice President of Finance
    Saint Paul Port Authority
    pmk@sppa.com or 651.204.6211
     

  Do you have answers to more frequently asked questions?

Yes! CERTs has developed an FAQ for PACE programs in Minnesota that covers general questions, as well as details for businesses and local governments.

Click here to access the FAQ now >>

 

  Do you have any more resources on PACE?

There are a lot of resources out there. The links below are the best for those who want to learn more.

 

  • PACE Factsheet from CERTs: Much of the content on this webpage has been condensed into a handy factsheet that you can take with you.

  • PACE Now: This national clearinghouse for information about PACE, has a nice resources page with PACE webinars, newsletters, reports, marketing materials, videos, and more.

Minnesotans building a clean energy future

         

    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission