At Urban Ingenuity, we know that clean energy projects are no longer just nice-to-do, they are a must-do.
We are committed to building stronger, healthier, more prosperous, more equitable, and more vibrant communities, and through investment in clean energy and climate solutions, improve affordability, expand opportunity, and promote human welfare.
DC PACE is poised to join the DC Green Bank family of products
- PACE project size in 2020 has grown from 2018 to 2020 by almost $200,000 reaching an average size of $644,000, however small projects still meet a pressing need in the local market.
- Despite the COVD-19 emergency, DC PACE will close out the calendar year with $4.5M in closings and a further $10 million in the pipeline poised to close early in Q1 of 2021, with the program expected to break $50 million in cumulative investment early in the new year.
- DC PACE has consistently ranked among the top performing PACE programs in the country. As the PACE program migrates, DC Green Bank wants to further enhance this growth and keep DC at the leading edge of Property Assessed Clean Energy in the United States. Working in close collaboration with Urban Ingenuity and the DOEE, DC Green Bank will provide DC PACE a platform to expand and reach its full potential. The best is yet to come!
Process, partners & impact: PACE becomes a mainstream financing tool
- By the end of 2019, DC PACE and Urban Ingenuity had closed a total of 25 deals, accounting for $40 million. These have encompassed tax exempt financing for non-profit community service buildings like the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative Headquarters; many multifamily-housing projects; religious institutions like St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Zion Baptist Church, and the National Baptist Conference; and businesses both small and large.
- 2019 also allowed measurement of the benefits sowed in past years' projects as they became fully operative, reaping meaningful cumulative savings across a growing pool of projects. The lifetime savings in energy bills generated by Clean Energy projects hit over $4.2 million by the end of 2019, in just four years.
Continuing to lead on innovative green finance and a new Green Bank for DC
- The sustained success of DC PACE and Urban Ingenuity provided the District authorities and stakeholders with evidence that the Clean Economy is possible, necessary, and feasible. It played a crucial role in the approval and constitution of the DC Green Bank. UI was one of DC Green Bank's leading advocates, providing a year long pro-bono consulting exercise to the DOEE.
- DC PACE innovates with repeated closings for market rate multi-family housing, solving capital needs to upgrade oven seven market rate and naturally occurring housing projects. In addition, the Taylor Street NW, EZ Storage project in the Petworth neighborhood showcased a cutting edge approval of integrated solar and green roof installation with DC PACE and DOEE’s stormwater management program developing a first of its kind approval under the District’s new regulations.
- The introduction of DC Green Bank legislation is offered to further streamline access to Clean Energy financing solutions, amplifying UI's and DC PACE's work. Expectations are high!
A fully formed DC PACE program hits its stride!
- In 2017 DC PACE more than tripled its project volume ending the year closing its 15th project and reaching the $34 million mark. This dollar value included many small projects for local land owners, as well as a nationally significant highlight in the $25 million 20 year PACE Note for the DC United soccer team’s Audi Field, funded by EagleBank. For DC PACE, it was an opportunity to attract corporate business into the clean economy, while for the team, it met their financial and structuring goals, by offsetting construction costs through ongoing savings.
- "The solar energy and green features of Audi Field prove what's smart for the environment can be good for local business, too," -Bracken Hendricks, CEO of Urban Ingenuity.
- The transition to a Clean Economy and a thriving DC involve everyone in the district.
Scaling DC PACE within the local market, deepening market awareness
- July 12 The $400,000 project for Annie’s Ace Hardware in the Brookland Neighborhood of Northeast, marks another national milestone for DC PACE financing working in collaboration with local minority-owned real estate developer deal The Menkiti Group, to fund improvements to an SBA financed project. Annie’s ACE hardware represented the first time that the SBA's Little Rock, Arkansas Commercial Loan Servicing Center would approve PACE, and established national guidelines for SBA to underwrite Commercial PACE projects for Section 7(a) loan funded properties, opening up new markets for local small business lending.
- By the end of 2016, DC PACE had closed five projects representing almost $5 million in financing activity. Besides the historical Menkiti Group deal, DC PACE also helped upgrade the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, and demonstrated another first-in-the-nation use of tax exempt revenue bond financing to further cut the cost of PACE financing for a non-profit headquarters on MLK Avenue in Historic Anacostia.
Formal Program Launch – DC PACE goes public
- August 21st, 2015 Mayor Muriel Browser launches DC PACE and its first fully financed project under the newly scaled program, a 37kW solar installation for a family-owned BP gas station on Georgia Avenue, NW. Funded through a $157,000 PACE Note provided by United Bank with ledner consent granted by EagleBank, the project promises a 40% decrease in energy bills. This project also implemented several structuring innovations to allow for local banks to participate.
- November 10th, 2015 DC PACE collaborates with HUD to leverage $700,000 in financing to renovate Phyllis Wheatley Young Women Christian Association (Phyllis Wheatley YWCA). This was the second LIHTC funded project undertaken nationally, and represented the first time that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters office formally approved the use of PACE for public housing projects establishing a scalable precedent. DC PACE provided an essential layer of funding within this $17 million project for the YWCA and developer Dante’s Partners, helping to close a capital gap by funding solar energy, HVAC, water conservation, Energy Star appliances and LED lighting, sitting alongside eight other layers of investments from District Departments (DOES, DHCD and DCHA) as well as HUD, Wells Fargo, and other financial partners. But most importantly, it reduced the rent and utility bills for the women living in the facility and made the property more affordable to operate.
Development of Scaled DC Internal Program Infrastructure
- DOEE and Urban Ingenuity launch systematic outreach to project developers, property owners, and project lenders to educate them on the availability of DC PACE financing, and to refine processes for systematically capitalizing projects, securing term sheet commitments, and establishing program guidelines, underwriting procedures, and program oversight.
- UI and DOEE conduct ongoing work with District of Columbia government including the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Office of Tax and Revenue to establish formal billing, collection and remittance procedures for DC PACE with the District’s bonding and tax collection operations, and contracting a third party servicing partner.
Initial Pilot Project Development “400 M Street”
- To demonstrate the viability of this early Commercial PACE program, DOEE and Urban Ingenuity worked to source a pilot demonstration project, and initial capital investment.
- In May of 2013 a first C-PACE pilot project closing was achieved at the Arthur Capper Senior Center at 400 M Street SE, an income eligible former HOPE IV housing redevelopment project involving 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits on a ground lease from the DC Housing Authority. This project represents the first use of PACE with LIHTC financing.
- The project received a $340,000 fifteen year PACE Note issued by Bethesda, MD based EagleBank, to fund solar energy, lighting, building controls, HVAC, water conservation, and envelope improvements and was strongly cash flow positive for the property.
- Lender Consent was granted by capital providers and financial participants including; the Royal Bank of Canada, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Forest City Ratner, and the DCHA.
Stakeholder Engagement & Initial Program Design
- A contract was awarded to regional affordable housing developer Urban Atlantic, through Urban Energy Advisors, to run a stakeholder process working with local and national lenders, real estate developers, green builders, energy finance experts, and community development practitioners, to identify program design options, engage capital, and develop go-to-market strategy, ultimately focusing this energy efficiency bonding authority on an open-market C-PACE program design, working through local and national third-party capital providers.
- Technical amendments are made to the EEFA statute to facilitate third-party private capital engagement, refine the security interest underlying the PACE Note, and provide for ongoing private program administration.
- Authority for DC PACE administration is transferred from the Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Development to the District Department of Energy and Environment. Third party administration for DOEE is contracted through Urban Energy Advisors doing business as “Urban Ingenuity”.
The “Energy Efficiency Financing Act of 2010”
- The statute authorizes and provides for the issuance, sale, and delivery of District of Columbia revenue bonds in one or more series, payable from special assessment revenues. Authorizes the Mayor to use the bond proceeds to provide funding for the initial installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits and improvements; and authorizes special property tax assessments on participating property owners.
- The initial authorization provides for up to $250,000,000 in bonding authority, functioning as a revenue bond with no general obligation for Washington DC, and without impacting the District’s debt burden.
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