Following a second reading at the Feb. 25 meeting, the St. Charles County Council approved joining and participating in Show Me PACE, a statewide initiative that encourages and incentivizes energy-efficient and renewable energy developments through open-market financing. The bill was introduced at the Feb. 11 council meeting.
On Feb. 25, the council opted to read a substitute version of the bill that implemented penalties for a failure to uphold consumer protections. Ultimately, it voted 5-0 in favor of the resolution. Councilmembers Mike Klinghammer [District 6] and Dave Hammond [District 4] were absent.
The Show Me PACE [Property Assessed Clean Energy] program goal is to help property owners with financing energy efficient upgrades to homes and commercial developments with no upfront costs.
Prior to Show Me PACE, the county had only approved legislation authorizing participation in the Missouri Clean Energy District [MCED].
According to Josh Campbell, executive director of the Missouri Energy Initiative and president of the Show Me PACE Board of Directors, Show Me PACE operates without imposing any cost to consumers due to its set-up as a public-private partnership, with the different districts and municipalities operating as public entities alongside private funding sources. Show Me PACE works with nine different lenders statewide to provide competitive financing options for energy-efficient projects without any charge to property owners.
“All this means is that St. Charles County residents will see lower costs,” Campbell said when explaining the program to councilmembers on Feb. 11. “Competition among districts makes us to a better job. Competition among our lenders makes them lower their fees and costs, and competition among contractors will hopefully increase their likelihood of doing jobs and providing better work for St. Charles County residents.”
The bill was proposed and sponsored by councilmembers Hammond, Joe Brazil [District 2] and Joe Cronin [District 1].
“I feel like the consumer protections are there to protect the residents of our county,” Cronin said on Feb. 11. “Also, it gives folks another competitive source of financing for home improvements that are designed to save them energy.”
Those improvements include items like energy-efficient heating and ventilation technology, solar panels, LED lighting and more.
According to Campbell, there are more than $20 million in Show Me PACE projects across the state, with multiple completed projects in Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis County.
Other municipalities with involvement in the Show Me PACE program include the city of St. Charles, St. Peters, Wentzville and Cottleville.
“So, having [St. Charles] County also adopt the resolution will provide for a uniform PACE marketplace for all St. Charles property owners,” said Byron DeLear, CEO/Chair of Energy Equity Funding, LLC and Managing Director and Central Regional Executive – Midwest Ygrene Energy Fund.
The 95th General Assembly of Missouri originally enacted the “Property Assessment Clean Energy Act” in July 2010 with the goal of aiding in the development, production and efficient use of clean energy and renewable energy, as well as the installation of energy efficiency improvements to residential and commercial real property.
Show Me PACE was created in June 2015 with the intent that all municipalities be eligible to join via an approved resolution or ordinance.
For more information, visit www.showmepace.org.