Renovate America, a San Diego, CA based provider of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and CT-based Greenworks Lending, an experienced commercial PACE financing team, announced this week a national partnership to spur efficiency and renewable energy investments in commercial buildings.
Under the national partnership, Greenworks Lending and Renovate America will begin offering commercial PACE financing through the HERO Program in Missouri. To date, the HERO Program has been offered exclusively for residential property owners (financing more than $2.1 billion in residential energy and efficiency improvements in California over the past five years), and this new partnership marks that program’s entry into the commercial buildings space.
The partnership will expand to other HERO markets as the program grows around the country. Greenworks Lending currently offers commercial PACE in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Ohio, Texas, and the District of Columbia. HERO residential PACE financing is currently offered in Missouri and California, and is set to expand to Florida this year.
PACE financing, which has been approved in some form in more than 30 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, allows owners to access upfront financing for clean energy and efficiency improvements to their properties. Commercial PACE investment has doubled every year since its inception in 2009 and is continuing to accelerate with 380% growth in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015, according to PACENation, a PACE policy advocacy organization. In states that have adopted PACE legislation, the number of buildings that could be eligible for commercial PACE financing is around 1.5 million.
With commercial PACE, the building owner repays the financing over time through an additional, voluntary assessment on their property taxes over a term of up to 25 years, depending on the jurisdiction. This structure allows most building owners to see immediate cash flow from the improvements, and secures the repayment to the property rather than the owner — meaning the PACE assessment transfers to the new owner upon sale of the building. Payments may be passed along to tenants where appropriate, and interest on the payments may also be tax-deductible.
The partnership between Renovate America and Greenworks Lending will allow both companies to leverage considerable synergies in PACE financing — from access to capital markets to experience in the commercial lending space to existing relationships with building-improvement contractors – while bringing a commitment to best-in-class customer service.
“This partnership enables us to better serve and support the efforts of more than 500 cities and counties to improve the efficiency of the commercial building sector,” said Renovate America CEO and founder J.P. McNeill. “Greenworks Lending shares our goals of empowering owners to invest in their properties in a way that boosts sustainability and, ultimately, value.”
“By joining forces with Renovate America on commercial PACE, we are creating an enterprise that will be far greater than the sum of its parts,” said Greenworks Lending CEO and co-founder Jessica Bailey. “PACE lending is uniquely important for businesses because it lowers key barriers that discourage building owners from adopting smart energy improvements. Partnering with the company that has driven the massive growth in the PACE industry will allow us to bring commercial PACE to more businesses throughout the country. Renovate America’s experience, tools and platform will be a huge advantage as we partner together.”