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City of Covington Becomes the First Government in Kentucky to Approve PACE Financing for a Private Energy Efficiency Project

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COVINGTON, KY – 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 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found PACE financing to be a perfect funding solution to make significant building improvements of systems that were outdated or extremely energy inefficient.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 estimated to reduce energy use by 40%,

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.”