Boone County approves special assessment district to finance energy-efficiency improvements for commercial properties

Follows Campbell County and Fayette County in allowing countywide PACE financing

BURLINGTON, Ky. — The Boone County Fiscal Court recently approved legislation to create a countywide Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) that allows property owners to use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to pay for energy-efficiency improvements on commercial, industrial, nonprofit, agricultural and multi-family properties.

This legislation continues a trend in Kentucky. Boone County becomes the third Kentucky county, after Campbell and Fayette, to adopt a countywide EPAD in the past year.

“PACE financing covers 100 percent of all of the hard and soft costs for energy upgrades, such as solar panels, LED lighting, energy-efficient air conditioning and heating systems, and water conservation projects,” said Chris Jones, director of PACE financing for Energize Kentucky, a nonprofit organization that administers the program in Boone, Campbell and Fayette counties.

“This is done through fixed-rate, long-term loans that require no down payment or personal or business guarantees. The loan is repaid annually through a voluntary special assessment placed on the property owner’s tax bill.”

In 2015, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation that allowed local governments to create these special assessment districts to allow property owners to use PACE financing for energy-efficiency improvements made to their properties.

“I am excited about this voluntary program that will allow our businesses to save on their energy costs while reducing impacts on our environment,” said Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore.

For property owners to use of this type of financing, the fiscal court will need to pass separate legislation to approve the use of this financing for each building or project that employs PACE financing.

“This really speeds up the process for property owners who are interested in pursuing this financing tool in Boone County,” Jones said. “A process that sometimes took many months to complete can now be completed in just a few weeks with this new legislation in place.”

Local governments also like the PACE program because it promotes economic development in their communities, including the rehabilitation of older buildings with outdated energy systems and making energy-efficiency improvements more affordable for new developments, Jones said.

Jones said that Energize Kentucky is currently speaking with officials in other Kentucky counties who have expressed interest in passing countywide legislation similar to the ordinance approved by Boone County Fiscal Court on April 9.

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