Adam Bednar//October 26, 2016
//October 26, 2016
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed into law legislation creating a Property Assessed Clean Energy Program in the city.
The program allows owners of commercial property in the city to finance improvements to buildings through private lenders. Those loans are paid off through increased property tax assessments.
“PACE provides the kind of affordable financing that allows property owners to invest in energy efficiency and the modernization of their buildings,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Maryland’s largest city joined several other state jurisdictions in adopting PACE programs.
Under the city’s program, qualifying energy improvements include energy audits, feasibility studies as well as materials and labor required for installation.
To pay for associated administrative costs of implementing the program the city tacks on a surcharge. If a property owner defaults on the surcharge it will be collected as a tax lien through the tax sale process.
Andrew Zech, head of business development for Connecticut-based Greenworks Lending, which recently closed on Maryland’s first PACE-financed construction project in Gaithersburg, said the financing appeals to property owners because it provides a better deal than traditional lenders can offer.
Right now his firm is offering loans with interest rates between 4.95 and 5.95 percent. The highest rate is for a 100 percent loan with a 20 year term.
“We’re working on a very large and growing pipeline across Maryland,” Zech said.
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