MEDINA — Property Assessed Clean Energy financing is a growing mechanism to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Ohio.
Several projects are on deck in the city of Medina using PACE financing, said city Economic Development Director Kimberly Marshall, but one important step is holding up the works.
Marshall and Medina County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Bethany Dentler have been working on creating an Energy Special Improvement District, or ESID, board that would oversee projects funded through a PACE lender.
The average cost of creating an ESID board is around $4,000, Marshall said.
By having Medina County fund the first PACE project, likely through the Medina County Port Authority, Dentler said a regional ESID board could be created to encourage energy-efficiency investments in adjacent jurisdictions.
Dentler said that would save other jurisdictions from incurring the costs of establishing and maintaining multiple separate ESID boards throughout the county.
The first project is expected to be a lighting upgrade at the Human Services Building at 246 Northland Drive, Medina. Steven Bastean, Medina County maintenance superintendent, told Medina County commissioners Tuesday that all new LED lighting will be used.
PACE financing follows rules in Ohio Revised Code that allow companies to finance investments that will improve energy efficiencies through a special assessment placed on the property taxes of the particular parcel where the investment will take place. Commercial, industrial and multifamily building property owners in Ohio are eligible.
It features no down payment and extended-term financing that allows for the potential to increase property value and reduce energy costs.
“It’s another tool to recruit business,” Dentler said.
Marshall said she’s been approached by a couple of businesses interested in PACE financing.
“It’s gaining in popularity in the state of Ohio,” she said. ““We can’t use it unless a district is formed. We want to use this tool.”
Marshall and Dentler have been researching the PACE financing for the past six months. She said she wants to set up the ESID district as soon as possible.
She wants the Economic Development Committee to move forward with an ESID at its next meeting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 7. She hopes to move the meeting to the Medina County Administration Building, 144 N. Broadway St., Medina.
“My guess is that it’ll be up and running by the summer,” Marshall said.