C&I, Rooftop, Solar

Listen Up: Commercial PACE Financing — With Brandon Deno

PACE financing, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, started out about 10 years ago as a financing mechanism for residential solar. Basically, the cost of the solar system is repaid over a 5- to 20-year timeframe as a part of the building’s property taxes. The benefits are that the property serves as security for the loan, there is almost no repayment risk (everyone must pay their property taxes), interest is deductible, customers are almost always cash flow positive in the first year, and the property can be transferred more simply than if there is a standard solar lease or power purchase agreement.

These advantages also apply to PACE loans for commercial solar installations — with two extra benefits. First, many commercial PACE loans are structured in such a way that the tax and depreciation credits are front weighted so that commercial property owners are very cash flow positive in the first few years. Second, many commercial leases are triple net — in other words the tenant pays for utilities, taxes and maintenance (in addition to utilities). If there is a solar PACE loan on the property, the tenant gets the benefit of lower electricity costs and automatically pays for the slightly higher tax assessment from the solar PACE loan. Voilà — no cost to the building owner.

My guest on this week’s Energy Show is Brandon Deno, Vice President of Solar at Clean Fund. Clean Fund is the leading provider of PACE loans for commercial buildings. Please Listen Up to The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as Brandon explains the ways in which solar developers and building owners can take advantage of PACE loans for their commercial properties.

About the Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

This podcast was originally produced by Spice Solar and was presented here with permission.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr