The Florida Green Energy Works program has funded its first commercial deal – and it is a perfect example of how PACE or 'Property Assessed Clean Energy' can spark sustainable investment in our communities.
The $45,000 retrofit is of a family-owned business property at 1101 North Tamarind in West Palm Beach. The work – new HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, windows & doors – is being done by a local contractor, Fastrack MCI, with energy consulting from Wind, Water and Energy Conservation. Funding is from local bank: Grand Bank & Trust of Florida. Together with a grant from the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), a rebate from FPL and the owner's downpayment, the project will result in a $160,000 transformation of the entire corner of the block – and maybe the start of an economic development trend in the neighborhood.
"It was important for us to make an investment and do our part to make our section a better place," said Frank Page, the owner of E&M Wine & Spirits.
The Program lets property owners voluntarily and cost-effectively fund retrofits. Interest rates are competitive because repayment is collected through the property tax bill.
"We were introduced to PACE, we evaluated it and concluded this is a great new finance tool for our customers and the community," said Mark Ciotti, Senior Vice President at Grand Bank.
The Program is managed by EcoCity Partners and is Florida's only statewide "open market" program with local banks participating in funding projects. It is expanding into Broward County.
"I love this project, it is the perfect example of how PACE helps a community invest in itself," said Penni Redford, Sustainability Manager for the City of West Palm Beach.