Kids First Sports Center Finds Success with PACE Financing

An exterior photo of the Kids First Sports Center.

Energy Project Financing:

  • Project Total: $656,000
  • Term: 23 years


  • Solar PV – 150 KW
  • LED Lighting
  • Wall Insulation

The PACE Financing program has already proven itself to be a successful energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative for commercial properties of all kinds, but one of the most notable projects in recent months has been the successful financing of a Solar PV improvement installation for the Kids First Sports Center, a multi-use recreational facility located in Sycamore Township, Ohio. The 108,000-square-foot gymnastics, trampoline, basketball and swimming center was the first commercial property in the state of Ohio to receive PACE funding for electric-generating solar panels. 

First opened in 1998, Kids First Sports Center has undergone several expansions over the years as the popularity of the facility continued to increase. The challenge for the owner was to strike a balance between maximizing the quality of their customers’ experience while also keeping operating costs at an acceptable level. With the guidance of National Energy Control, the primary contractor for the project, a proposal was put forward to install PV (photovoltaic) solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity. Recommendations were also made to convert all lighting fixtures in the facility to LED, which consume up to 90% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. The ownership team at Kids First Sports Center were able to benefit from a variety of financial concessions via federal incentives, utility rebates, and funding from the PACE Financing program in order to accomplish the installation.

Jeff Metzger, the owner of Kids First Sports Center, reported that the solar panel installation has provided an extra 150 KW of solar power, boosting the energy efficiency of their property while also improving the quality of the lighting levels within the facility. Not only has this led to a more pleasant customer experience, but it has also dramatically reduced the maintenance requirements for their lighting fixtures. Keep in mind that LED lighting has a significantly longer lifespan than traditional light bulbs, which leads to lower maintenance costs and improved safety levels.

The ownership at Kids First Sports Center was able to secure this energy-saving improvement without having to provide any type of down payment or personal guarantee. This means that the facility was able to realize immediate benefit from an energy efficient solar panel installation without disrupting its cash flow or placing unnecessary strain on its balance sheet. Instead of having to add another vendor to its list of accounts payable, Kids First was able to integrate repayment into the property’s existing tax bill, a feature that is one of the primary strengths of the PACE Financing program.

As the demand for sustainable, eco-friendly business practices continues to increase, companies of all stripes are being forced to explore financially feasible ways to improve the energy efficiency and renewable energy of their properties. The PACE Financing program has emerged as a premier funding method that not only makes renewable energy improvements more accessible to commercial property owners, but it also accomplishes the long-term objective of helping the environment. For more information on how to get started with this innovative program, click this link for the Ohio PACE program, or this link for Energize Kentucky inquiries.

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