Jason Stringer, program planning consultant for the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, says the state’s PACE program has over $100 million of capital available for financing energy efficiency projects.

PACE — or property assessed clean energy — is a financing tool that commercial property owners can use to support investment in energy efficiency upgrades like new HVAC systems, new windows or doors, better insulation and sealing, as well as renewable energy.

“The projects are paid for through utility bills and operating cost savings, so in many cases, the projects will pay for themselves,” Stringer told WisBusiness.com. “It’s got tremendous intrinsic value there, but we’re also promoting sustainability to some extent too.”

WECC is the program administrator for PACE, and facilitates meetings of the commission overseeing the program, which is made up of directors from each county. It also maintains the program’s guidelines as it reviews projects, and recruits capital for participation.

As of this week, 27 Wisconsin counties have approved PACE financing.

Jon Hochkammer, director of insurance operations at the Wisconsin Counties Association, has played a major role in getting the program adopted at the county level all over the state.

“It’s economic development, with no taxpayer dollars involved in it whatsoever, no liability issues for the county,” he said. “It also promotes energy efficiency and energy conservation, which is a good thing as well.”

Hochkammer says it takes four or five visits, on average, to get a county onboard.

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