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Ottawa County establishes program to help business owners complete energy efficiency projects

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Posted at 10:51 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 10:51:07-04

WEST OLIVE, Mich. — Waste can be costly for businesses, with some estimates indicating about 30% of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted on average, according to a news release Wednesday.

But making improvements to make buildings more energy efficient and renewable can be costly with high upfront costs.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program offers a funding alternative to traditional bank loans so businesses can afford to make energy-efficient improvements, and Ottawa County will soon offer it to area businesses.

Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday to establish a countywide PACE program so owners of eligible commercial, industrial or multi-unit (four or more) residential properties can become more sustainable.

Nonprofits, houses of worship and agricultural enterprises may also be eligible for the program.

The program helps business owners secure a loan for up to 25 years and attaches a voluntary special assessment to the property upon which the improvements were made.

Because the loan is secured with the assessment – meaning it runs with the land, not the owner – there won’t be a balloon payment if the property is sold before the loan matures.

Officials say the special financing arrangement also creates positive cash flow because of the energy cost savings generated by the improvements.

Just about any energy efficiency, water efficiency or renewable energy project can qualify.

Ottawa County will administer the program through its Planning and Performance Improvement Department.

More information on eligibility and applications may be found here.