Press Release: KY-PACE First Project

For immediate release

Covington, KY (December 15, 2015) For the first time in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a local government (City of Covington) has authorized a private property owner (Ivy Knoll Senior Living Community) to use PACE financing for an energy project, according to the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance.

In March 2015, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear.  The legislation, House Bill 100, authorizes local governments to establish Energy Project Assessment Districts (EPADs), which then allows property owners to use PACE financing to fund energy efficiency upgrades, on-site renewable energy projects and water conservation measures.  Energy projects financed with PACE do not require subsidy or incentive from the local government sponsoring the EPAD.

PACE financing allows private commercial property owners to repay the funds for an eligible energy project via a voluntary special improvement assessment on the property tax bill.  The assessment amount remains fixed for a term of up to 20 years. The special assessment stays with the property when sold or transferred.

The City of Covington worked closely with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance to develop the EPAD which allowed the Ivy Knoll Senior Living Community to take advantage of PACE financing.

“According to the national nonprofit PACENow, this is the fastest that an energy project has been approved for PACE financing once a State has passed enabling legislation,” said City of Covington Mayor Sherry Carran.  “The City of Covington is excited to have partnered with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance which allowed Ivy Knoll to improve such an important property within the City of Covington.”

Ivy Knoll found PACE financing to be a perfect funding solution to make significant building improvements of systems that were outdated or extremely energy inefficient. Through these energy upgrades, Ivy Knoll will be able to improve the comfort and convenience for their senior residents while also reducing the building’s energy footprint. Through PACE financing, the Ivy Knoll owners were able to select improvements that had the highest energy savings but also came with the higher upfront costs for the 7-story, all-electric building.  The $750,000 project, funded by Inland Green Capital LLC, includes the following building improvements:

  • Solar Panels – the largest electricity-generating system that is privately-owned in Northern Kentucky will produce over 64,000 kilowatt hours annually,
  • LED Lighting – estimated electricity savings in excess of $12,000 annually,
  • Elevator Modernization – energy efficient technology by Murphy Elevator Company,
  • Heating & Cooling – high efficiency room units with automated controls that allow the building manager to remotely turn off units in vacant rooms.

“PACE financing allowed us to make many of the energy related improvements that we might have otherwise deferred,” said Ray Schneider, the President/CEO of Ivy Knoll.  “We were able to improve the comfort for our senior residents while reducing the building’s energy footprint by approximately 37%.”

Mark Pikus, Senior Vice President of Inland Green Capital states, “We are excited to be a part of this historic PACE transaction in the state of Kentucky. As PACE financing gains traction throughout the country, we look forward to continue working with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance and other PACE administrators to provide capital for properties just like Ivy Knoll”.

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is currently working with several local governments to make PACE financing available for more property owners within the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas.  Additionally, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance provides education and outreach to contractors and property owners who want to learn more about PACE financing.

“We are excited to bring PACE financing to Northern Kentucky,” said Andy Holzhauser, the CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance.  “This is a big step forward in that PACE financing allows property owners to reduce their energy consumption with no down payment and with fixed, long term payments via their property tax bill.”

About Ivy Knoll Retirement Community

Ivy Knoll, located in Covington, offers independent living, personal care, and short-term (respite) stays. They offer the most competitive rates along with the largest one-bedroom apartments available in the area. Each day three home-style meals are served table side to residents. A variety of activity offerings ensures an engaging and healthy social experience for residents that promotes friendships and a higher quality of life.

www.ivyknoll.com; Sam Cunningham

About Inland Green Capital LLC

Inland Green Capital LLC is an environmental finance and investment company. It provides capital for PACE project initiatives throughout the country. In addition to our enthusiasm for PACE from a business perspective, Inland is excited to provide leadership in advancing the energy-efficiency and sustainable movement sweeping the country.

www.inlandgreencapital.com; Mark Pikus

About the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is a nonprofit economic development agency that promotes investment in energy efficiency in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities by providing education, project management, and innovative financing solutions like PACE.

www.greatercea.org/commercial/ky-pace; Chris Jones

Contact

Chris Jones, Client Relations Director
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
513.621.4232 x121 | cjones@greatercea.org

 

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Energy Alliance Leads Nation in Energy Financing

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance Wins 2012 CDFA Excellence in Energy Finance Award

CINCINNATI, OHIO – August 2, 2012 – The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) awarded the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance the 2012 Excellence in Energy Finance Award.  The Energy Alliance will formally accept the award this evening in Washington, D.C. at the CDFA National Development Finance Summit.

The Energy Alliance, in partnership with the Cincinnati Development Fund, Inc. received the excellence award for its commercial Building Performance Program, which helps building owners in the Greater Cincinnati area identify ways to make their facilities more energy efficient.

The Energy Alliance utilizes public and private investments to offer market rate financing to program participants that wish to upgrade their building facilities with energy efficiency measures.  Participants can qualify for loans between $100,000 and $1 million with competitive interest rates.

“Using our financing model, a program participant could take an energy efficiency loan for $125,000.  Combine it with an incentive from the utility company, and the estimated payback can be 4 years or less.  In fact, a monthly loan payment could be lower than their utility bill savings,” reflected Andy Holzhauser, Executive Director of the Energy Alliance.

Holzhauser explained that the finance model is attractive to private investors because it offers a low-risk entry into this emerging market.

“Our innovative community partnership with CDF gives us access to a huge pool of commercial buildings in the Cincinnati community – buildings that could see a drastic reduction in their monthly utility and operating costs if they were to install efficient equipment,” said Holzhauser.

For more details about the Building Performance Program visit http://www.greatercea.org.

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Commercial Energy Efficiency Loan Fund

Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance partners with the Cincinnati Development Fund to leverage Multi-Million Dollar Investment in Energy Efficiency Lending

CINCINNATI, OHIO – June 1, 2012 – Business owners and nonprofit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati region that would like to make their buildings more energy efficient will be able to access a unique loan program thanks to a partnership created by the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (Energy Alliance) and the Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF).

The investment, which was announced today, will allow qualified business owners, multifamily building owners and nonprofit organizations access to loans to implement energy efficiency upgrades through the Energy Alliance’s Building Performance Program. Typical building owners will see a reduction in utility cost and enhanced comfort, when making improvements such as new heating and cooling equipment, windows and air sealing and insulation.

The Energy Alliance is partnering with CDF, a local nonprofit lending institution, and the Calvert Foundation, a national financial intermediary, to leverage a $3 million investment to create the Better Buildings Performance Loan Fund.  The Loan Fund is the first of a series of investments that leverages the Energy Alliance’s commitment of $5 million in capital from the U.S. Department of Energy Better Building Neighborhood Program (BBNP) to drive investment capital into the greater Cincinnati region.  This investment marks the first time that the Calvert Foundation has invested in the Cincinnati community.

The intent of this loan fund is two-fold, according to Energy Alliance Executive Director Andy Holzhauser:

  • It will provide additional capital for commercial, multifamily and nonprofit building owners looking to invest in energy saving opportunities in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region.
  • The Energy Alliance’s commercial program will verify the performance of the installed measures over the life of investment.  Collected and verified data will allow community development financing groups and traditional lenders to enter the emerging market of energy efficiency financing at a relatively low risk.

“This is a valuable first step to creating a national model for a new funding solution for energy efficiency upgrades,” Holzhauser said.

In tradition with their socially responsible lending, The Calvert Foundation announced an initial $3 million investment in the local loan fund.  The Energy Alliance, a recipient of a BBNP grant, is providing capital for a loan loss reserve fund allowing loans to be offered at competitive interest rates for qualified borrowers.  The Cincinnati Development Fund, Inc. will serve as the lending institution.

The partnership was a good fit for each of the three organizations.

“Investing in energy efficiency lowers energy costs for a developer or building owner and puts more money back in their control to invest in additional housing and multi-family projects,” said Jeanne Golliher, President and CEO of  Cincinnati Development Fund, Inc.

She added that the CDF feels strongly that any building loan should have energy efficiency improvements included in the project to create more sustainable cities and communities.

Catherine Godschalk, Director of U.S. Investments at the Calvert Foundation, based in Bethesda, Md., said that the organization believes the investment will help local business owners finance improvements that will ultimately reduce pollutants, conserve energy and lead to cost savings.

“Calvert Foundation is excited about this new investment and its leverage of the Department of Energy grant dollars for broader impact in communities.  This was an innovative approach for us, but still within a larger context of portfolio investments in green solutions,” she said.

Holzhauser added: “The Energy Alliance’s mission is to drive investments in energy efficiency throughout the greater Cincinnati community. By partnering with national and local partners to attract capital into this market and prove that energy efficiency investments work; for both lenders and building owners, we feel that this program will be a step towards achieving this goal.” 

To qualify for the Better Buildings Performance Loan Fund, nonprofit, multifamily and commercial building owners must be within the Energy Alliance service territory and apply for the Energy Alliance program. The Energy Alliance is a non-profit organization that provides financial support, technical assistance and project management support to help local businesses and nonprofit organizations make high quality energy efficiency investments.

For more information on the loan program or to begin the process for energy efficiency upgrades, go to  www.greatercea.org.

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities reduce their energy costs. The Energy Alliance provides education, expertise and innovative financing to help the region to become more energy efficient, saving money for residents while also creating local jobs. Visit www.greatercea.org

The Cincinnati Development Fund is a non-profit lending institution established in 1988 to finance affordable housing development and community revitalization in the Greater Cincinnati Area. CDF fills a critical niche that is not sought after by traditional lenders, such as small projects, new developers, and complex financing structures. The primary business of the organization is to underwrite and service community development real estate loans that result in the creation or preservation of affordable housing, or revitalization of urban communities.  Visit  http://www.cincinnatidevelopmentfund.org/

The Calvert Foundation maximizes the flow of capital to disadvantaged communities in order to create a more equitable and sustainable society. By creating innovative financial products and services, they have made it possible for everyday people, not just institutions, to participate in financial instruments that directly serve communities.  The Calvert Foundation has nearly $200 million invested in 250 community organizations in all 50 states and over 100 countries.  Visit http://www.calvertfoundation.org/

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