FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 28, 2014
Commission Recommends to Mayor that the City Adopt Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Ordinance
Little Rock, AR – The Little Rock Sustainability Commission voted unanimously Friday to recommend that Little Rock become the third city in Arkansas to create an energy improvement district. The Commission developed and will submit a proposed PACE ordinance to Mayor Mark Stodola that could be considered and voted on by the Little Rock Board of Directors in order to create the district. Stodola has previously expressed interest in establishing a Little Rock PACE District. Both the City of Fayetteville and the City of North Little Rock have established ordinances within the past year.
The PACE financing program (Act 1074 of 2013) was enacted by the Arkansas legislature and signed into law by Governor Beebe in April 2013. It authorizes local jurisdictions in Arkansas to voluntarily create energy improvement districts that can fund loans for 100% of the cost of energy savings projects by interested property owners. The loans are repaid via a special assessment on the owner’s property.
“Passage of this ordinance would be consistent with Little Rock’s commitment to sustainable building practices, energy savings and job creation,” said Ben Brenner, Chair of the Little Rock Sustainability Commission. “This is an innovative financing program that will unlock the door for Little Rock property owners to reduce their energy costs by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation improvements to their places of business.”
If enacted the ordinance would create a PACE Board of Directors that would assume responsibility for overseeing design and administration of the PACE program in the city. The district would be legally and financially independent of the city.
The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) has been working with city leaders in support of creating the new district. “We applaud the Mayor’s Sustainability Commission for its leadership and support of PACE financing for energy improvements,” said Steve Patterson, Executive Director of AAEA. “We encourage the City to take the next step by adopting an ordinance creating a PACE district in the City of Little Rock.”
Patterson noted that since the first PACE financing mechanism was enacted by the State of California in 2008, 30 states have adopted PACE-enabling legislation with 24 having actually launched programs. AAEA continues to monitor and analyze these programs to create a catalogue of best practices and case studies from participating regions that demonstrate clear advantages for communities, commercial property owners, and the energy savings industry.
PACE addresses one of the largest barriers to energy savings retrofits – up front financing and short-term loans. In testimony before legislative committees during General Assembly consideration of PACE earlier this year, AAEA energy savings company CEOs estimated potential job growth for their companies at 30 percent once PACE is deployed in their respective regions.
Little Rock Sustainability Commission provides education, leadership and vision for current and future citizens, organizations and departments of the City of Little Rock to sustain our environment, enhance our economy, and achieve social equity.
Members of the Little Rock Sustainability Commission are Ben Brenner (Chair), Judy Watts, Ron Hughes (Vice-Chair), Randy Pierce, Neil Gillespie (Secretary), Clint Whitley, Nancy Landrum, Uta Meyer, Charles Vann, Cedric Martin, Christopher Hiryak, Chris Franke, Acadia Roher, Ron Hope, and Jennifer Glasgow.
To read a summary of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation, click here: http://arkansasadvancedenergy.com/files/dmfile/PACESUMMARY.2.13.pdf
Arkansas Advanced Energy Association is a business group dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy by expanding our energy workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies. www.arkansasadvancedenergy.com
The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation is the educational affiliate of the AAEA. The Foundation promotes greater public understanding of advanced energy in Arkansas through research, public education programs and economic and workforce development. The Foundation is dedicated to informing the energy policy debate with well-researched, fact-based data on the advanced energy economy in Arkansas and by providing a public forum where state leaders can address Arkansas’s energy challenges for the future. www.arkansasadvancedenergyfoundation.org
Report Shows Global Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy
A report released in January 2013 by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) shows that advanced energy was a $1.1 trillion global market in 2011, larger than pharmaceutical manufacturing worldwide. Read the full report here: http://arkansasadvancedenergyfoundation.org/files/dmfile/AEEIEconomicImpactofAdvancedEnergy-Final.pdf
Follow Arkansas Advanced Energy on Twitter @ArkAdvEnergy and like “Arkansas Advanced Energy Association” on Facebook.