Ann Arbor Postpones Bonds for Clean Energy

The Ann Arbor city council postponed until Feb. 19 a step that would help owners of commercial property make improvements designed to help save energy under the city’s property assessed clean energy (PACE) program.

That step will be to authorize the issuance and sale of up to $1 million in bonds in support of the 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.

The vote to postpone the authorization to issue bonds came at the council’s Feb. 4, 2013 meeting. Councilmembers had a number of questions that they wanted to get answered during the postponement. There had not been sufficient time to do that, as the item was not added to the agenda until the day of the meeting.

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]