Loudoun Considers Loan Program for Green Energy Projects

Loudoun supervisors are mulling a program that would let commercial property owners finance clean energy projects with special loans facilitated by the local government.

Through the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, a commercial property owner’s loan would be secured by a lien against the property. The loans would be used to finance clean energy or energy-saving projects.

PACE loans generally have longer terms than other commercial loans. According to Arlington County, which is ahead of Loudoun in the process of setting up a PACE program, a typical PACE loan is in the United States is approximately $500,000 and is repaid over 10 to 20 years compared to five years or less for typical commercial loans.

According to Loudoun staff members, it’s difficult to know whether the market is right for a successful PACE program in Virginia. Arlington is the only other Virginia jurisdiction to award a contract to administer a PACE program. There are similar programs in other states.

Supervisors on the board’s finance committee favored a model designed protect the county from any financial risk and minimize its workload. The county would contract a third party to run the program and act as a conduit to a third-party lender.The county would have oversight of the program, and could collect the loan payments through the tax bill and send that money on to the lender.

That system resembles Arlington’s, which is still under development.

“I think overall the approach to this, and in talking with our county attorney’s office staff, is to eliminate the liability to Arlington County,” said Arlington County Community Energy Coordinator Rich Dooley.

Dooley said his county doesn’t even pay its program administrator, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions. Instead, the company is paid a one-time program administration fee, a percentage of the total project cost, by the lender.

The finance committee forwarded the idea to the full board for discussion. County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said the issue would likely be taken up by the board no sooner than November.

“One of the things we’re going to want to know is, while you may be able to structure this with no liability to the county, I don’t even want a moral liability or a moral obligation,” said Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn). “And that’s a discussion we’re going to have to have.”

rgreene@loudounnow.com

5 thoughts on “Loudoun Considers Loan Program for Green Energy Projects

  • 2017-10-24 at 7:29 pm
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    The clean energy program supervisors should support with their best wishes is natural gas.

  • 2017-10-25 at 5:24 pm
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    If solar panels are so great, why do they always have to be subsidized by the taxpayer?

  • 2017-11-01 at 11:29 am
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    Simply put, there is no global warming; no right or single temperature for the earth; and no fixed climate for all time. Are we really so arrogant as to think we can control the weather when we can’t even forecast next week’s accurately? Besides warmer weather benefits all humanity and all of God’s other creatures. Do these experts really think we could prevent the next ice age by cranking up the CO2? If solar panels and windmills make sense economically then businesses and people will use them. To subsidize them distorts the market and the greater the subsidy the greater the distortion. Electric cars are really coal burners (more than 50% of our energy comes from it) and inefficient ones at that given the loss of electric through the stages of its transmission. And, both solar panels and electric car batteries contain large amounts of toxic materials that will have to be dealt with when they need to be disposed of. Ultimately there are only two sources of power in this world: the sun and the atom. Mother nature has provided us with the condensed energy of the sun in the form of fossil fuels (and by the way these are organic and probably gluten free!). Solar and wind are both by products of the sun’s energy but neither can provide the density of power of God’s gift to mankind: fossil fuel. Simply look at the size of solar fields and windmill farms – that still need fossil fuel back up – and you will understand why these technologies don’t work. I for one don’t want my family’s next surgery dependent on the wind blowing or the sun shining. For clean limitless energy splitting the atom is the best solution but even though the technology – through man’s genius – has made it completely safe we are still too scared to use it. We may wonder why so many once thought ignorantly that the world was flat. Well, today, again, the truth stares us in the face but so many of us are practicing virtue signaling and moral superiority that we can’t see the facts before us and that especially applies to our politicians.

  • 2017-11-02 at 2:19 pm
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    As a strong proponent of PACE or Property Assessed Clean Energy I want you to know that there is no government subsidy involved. PACE simply allows you to continue spending your money on utility expenses or investing it in your property. Your choice!

    You can check out http://www.PACENation.US for more information. or our LoudounPACE web page. The LoudounPACE Facebook page identifies some of the benefits other property owners enjoy and energy saving devices that PACE can make cost effective for you as a business owner, and someday all of us as homeowners. You are of course free to choose!

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