Benefits of Going Green
By Jeff Thompson GHRA April 2017 Issue Page 14
"If you’ve been in the convenience store business for any length of time, you’ve probably been approached by one or more vendors offering to reduce your energy costs with LED lights. This can be a costly conversion. What you may not know is that you can accomplish many energy saving goals for your business by utilizing a PACE loan. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, and the loan structure is unique in that it is capitalized by independent lenders. Property owners like the PACE Loan program because it presents positive cash flow benefits immediately, and the annual assessment can usually be passed through to the tenants, who benefit from the lower utility bills. Even if you are intending to sell your property in the near future, there may be benefits for you since the financing stays with the property. Specifically, in the event the current owner should choose to sell the property, the current owner is not obligated to pay anything more than the Annual Assessment then due. As such, any a capital improvements made to your property using this loan structure can benefit your property value and resulting selling price. Perhaps the biggest benefit to a PACE Loan is that it requires an independent assessment of the loan and the anticipated energy savings. Also, a PACE energy efficiency project potentially increases the property’s Net Operating Income and building value. This independent assessment requires that upon analyzing the projected green energy savings, that the Savings to Investment Ratio (SIR) must be greater than "1". The Savings is calculated as the sum of the savings over the useful life of the project. The Investment is calculated as the Principal value of the Investment. Another simpler way to state this, is that the amount you save in utility payments must be greater than your annual assessment payments. This Benefits of Going Green means that in addition to having a zeroinvestment capital improvement to your property, your net operating income will see positive monthly benefits or else the loan won’t be approved. Rather than spending the entirety of this article discussing the benefits of a PACE loan we can also talk about what types of energy efficiency improvements can qualify for PACE funding. In the Houston area, the items which will produce the most benefit are HVAC, insulation, lighting (indoor and outdoor), cool roofs (reflective white roof), energy management systems, car charging stations, bike racks, windows, glazing. HVAC components include chillers, cooling towers, air handlers, thermostats, boilers, variable drive fans (VDF's). If you decide to pursue this type of funding, you can learn more at www. pacehouston.com, and keep an eye out for potential energy saving LED manufacturers in future issues of In Action Magazine. Keeping it Green can help keep you in the green."