Folks in Redwood County might know Knott’s Corner Bar and Grill in the town of Lucan (pop. 191) for their delicious Buffalo Wings. What they might not know is that the business has become much more energy efficient and is saving energy dollars with the help of the Rural Minnesota Energy Board’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.
Not familiar with PACE? 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.
After a couple years successfully running Knott’s Corner, which used to be the Brau Haus, owner and Lucan native Anna Knott decided it was time for a renovation. Located right on Main Street, the business is incorporating energy efficiency improvements into their reno plans, installing LED Lighting, a Desuperheater for hot water heating, a multi-zone refrigerant compressor, R42 insulation, and variable speed ventilation fans. The energy audit estimates that these improvements will result in nearly $5,000 in annual energy savings. The project costs is just over $52,000 with a 10 year payback term requested. With a 4% interest rate that puts the annual payment of roughly $2,580.
Robin Weis, Economic Development Director with the Southwest Regional Development Commission, coordinated the PACE financing. “Low-interest PACE financing made it possible for the building owners of Knott’s Corner to incorporate energy-saving upgrades into their remodel.”
According to Peter Lindstrom, CERTs Local Government Outreach Coordinator, Knott’s Corner is not alone: “More and more businesses across Minnesota are using PACE to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. People like it because it is cash-flow positive and eliminates the burden of up-front costs.”
- Knott’s Corner Bar and Grill, Lucan (Redwood County)
- LED Lighting, Desuperheater for hot water heating, Multizone refrigerant compressor, R42 insulation, Variable speed ventilation fans
- 12, 15, and 20 years (depending on equipment)
- 10 years, 4% interest rate
- 232.37 MMBTU
- $1,194 for 12 years, $3,408 for 15 years, or $4,894.56 total per year for equipment life
- $2,580 for 10 years
- $2,314.56 for 10 years
- Total Net Savings: $23,145.60 over loan term + $22,348 over remaining useful life = $45,493.60
* Total Net Savings is calculated by multiplying the useful life of the improvement by the estimated annual savings, then subtracting the cost for materials, installation, and interest over the term of the assessment.