Ann Arbor OKs Clean Energy Bonds

The Ann Arbor city council has approved the issuance of bonds that will assist owners of commercial property in making improvements designed to help save energy under the city’s property assessed clean energy (PACE) program. The vote was taken at the council’s Feb. 19, 2013 meeting, having been postponed by the council on Feb. 4, 2013.

The initial decision to postpone stemmed from the fact that the item had not been added to the agenda until the day of the Feb. 4 meeting.

The sale of up to $1 million in bonds will support energy improvements to be undertaken by five property owners. In broad strokes, the PACE program is enabled by state legislation – the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act 270 of 2010. Property owners take out loans to make energy improvements to be repaid through regular installments as part of their taxes. Municipalities like the city of Ann Arbor administer the program. More than a year ago, on Jan. 9, 2012, the city council set the fees for participation in the program. Prior to that, on March 7, 2011, the city set up a loan loss fund with about $430,000 granted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Properties for which owners have applied for improvements under Ann Arbor’s PACE program include: (1) Arrowwood (2566 Arrowwood Trail) for new HVAC equipment, insulation, occupancy sensors and lighting upgrade for the clubhouse; exterior lighting upgrade to LED; and solar shingles on one apartment building; (2) Big Boy (3611 Plymouth Road) for HVAC upgrade, lighting upgrade, cooking equipment replacement with energy efficient equipment, and controls; (3) Bivouac (330-336 S. State) for interior lighting upgrade; (4) Goodyear Building (118-124 S. Main) for HVAC replacement (boilers and A/C units), and lighting upgrade; and (5) Kerrytown Market & Shoppes (403 N. Fifth Ave.) for lighting upgrades in tenant areas and common areas.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]