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New financing program offers energy efficient options

Designed for commercial building owners

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — Legislation passed by the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear will provide commercial and industrial property owners the ability to advance the efficient use of energy and water resources.

House Bill 100 authorizes local governments to establish Energy Project Assessment Districts (EPAD), an innovative financing option for energy efficiency upgrades, on-site renewable energy projects and water conservation measures.

EPAD jurisdictions allow property owners to arrange funding through local governments for 100 percent of the energy improvement project’s costs. Payment is made by property owners with a voluntary assessment on the property tax bill over a term of up to 20 years. The tax stays with the property even if there is a sale or transfer.

Through EPAD, financing is available for all types of commercial and industrial properties, large and small, and may be available to nonprofits and government facilities. Participation is voluntary and no tax assessment is made unless the landowner voluntarily initiates financing of a project.

The Kentucky EPAD bill has been broadly supported due to its ability to attract outside investment to support the rehabilitation and upgrade of outdated infrastructure.

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, an organization that promotes energy efficiency through financial and technical support to commercial and non-profit businesses in northern Kentucky, has strongly supported EPADs in Kentucky as an economic development tool to support new job growth.

The EPAD financing model has been approved in more than 31 states around the country. It offers a unique extended-term financing solution to support businesses in making critical energy-related improvements to their buildings.

Buildings use about one-third of the energy consumed in Kentucky and energy prices are expected to increase. Energy efficiency saves energy costs for businesses while reducing environmental impacts.

By authorizing EPADs, local communities will benefit from improved building infrastructure, more competitive businesses, and an increase in economic activity. Local contractors, engineers, manufacturers, and energy service companies will all benefit from an uptick in the amount of commercial building improvement work that takes place.