Wayne County Joins $52M Effort to Help Businesses Save on Energy Costs


tWayne County has become the largest local government outside of California to create a Property Assessed Clean Energy District, which will assist business owners in financing energy efficiency improvements on their properties. The Wayne County Commission voted unanimously in favor of creating the district earlier this month.

t“The importance of Wayne County joining the program cannot be overstated,” says Andy Levin, who will administer the program. “This vote means that all business property owners in the city of Detroit and throughout the county can apply for long-term financing that makes energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy improvement cost effective.”

tWayne is the fifth county and seventh local government to join the Lean & Green Michigan PACE program, which assists business property owners in securing financing for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. To finance the improvements, property owner voluntarily take on a special assessment, which will be paid off as part of a property tax bill over a period of 10 to 20 years or longer.

tAccording to the county, property owners will generate more money in energy savings than their payments to service the special assessment. It notes that, under the state’s PACE law, “this savings to investment ratio must be positive on day one as a condition of project approval.”

t“The projects generated will allow for additional business for local companies, thus enabling more jobs to become available for our citizens,” says Wayne County Commissioner Raymond E. Basham,D-Taylor, who introduced the concept to the commission. “And, just as importantly, the county will enjoy a better business climate, more valuable commercial and industrial building stock, and reduce our carbon output all at the same time.”

tHuron, Ingham, Macomb, Saginaw, and Wayne counties, as well as the cities of Rochester Hills and Southfield, are also part of the Lean & Green Michigan program.

tTo date, nearly $52 million worth of sustainable upgrades to commercial buildings were funded with PACE, according to PACENow, a non-profit, funded advocate for PACE financing.