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Energy-Efficiency Funding Shows Promise


high-efficiency HVAC system in an office building

As maintenance and engineering managers face ongoing pressure to make commercial and institutional facilities operate more sustainably and energy efficiently, they face the challenge of finding the funding to complete projects that address these goals. Recent developments in one state offer a potential roadmap for overcoming these challenges.

Two energy-efficiency projects — one at Roberts Riverwalk Urban Resort Hotel in Detroit and the Liquid Web Data Center in Lansing worth about $8.5 million — will be funded by the Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE). Under PACE, business property owners receive long-term loans for energy upgrades at fixed interest rates by working with local taxing bodies to repay the loans through their property tax bills, according to Crain’s Detroit.

The projects are a sign that after a slow start, PACE projects are starting to pick up the pace. From 2015 through 2017, PACE was involved in $6 million in projects. So far this year, PACE has facilitated $14.5 million in projects, says Andy Levin, managing partner with Levin Energy Partners LLC.

The Roberts Riverwalk Hotel, a historic, African-American-owned business along the Detroit River, worked with PACE Energy Services on a $4.76 million project to add LED lights, solar parking lights, HVAC upgrades, windows and doors, and other energy-saving building improvements. The projected 10-year savings are $15.6 million.

This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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