Omaha Adopts Nebraska’s First PACE Ordinance

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson

Post written by Chris Peterson | Managing Partner, Nebraska

Commercial property owners and developers in the Omaha area will be the first in Nebraska to have access to “PACE financing” – fixed-rate, non-recourse, long-term loans in the equity stack used to finance the energy and water conservation measures of either retrofits, redevelopment or ground-up construction projects. Nebraska joined more than thirty other states with a PACE law when the Legislature adopted LB 1012 in 2016.

On May 16, 2017, Omaha’s city council unanimously passed Nebraska’s first PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) ordinance and in doing so, the city took a big step forward toward allowing the use of this new commercial real estate financing tool.

PACE Sage Capital worked closely with city council member Aimee Melton and Mayor Jean Stothert’s administration, including Jennifer Taylor from the city law department, to develop the city’s ordinance.

PACE is intended to encourage and support the use of energy efficiency and water conservation measures and reductions in energy and water usage by commercial property owners. Eligible items for financing include lighting, windows, HVAC units and ductwork, temperature controls, low-flow fixtures, boilers/chillers, renewable resources such as solar and a long list of other measures.

PACE loans are repaid in the form of a special assessment on the improved property and the annual assessment is billed to the property owner in the same manner as property taxes.  At the time a PACE loan is closed, an assessment contract is filed with the county and attached to the property’s title.

Omaha’s PACE ordinance establishes the Eastern Nebraska Clean Energy Assessment District (ENCEAD), which includes the city of Omaha and its zoning jurisdiction, and places responsibility for administering the program with the city planning department.

The department is expected to begin accepting applications from property owners in the near term after they have published the application form and set a fee schedule. PACE Sage Capital expects to fund projects as early as this summer.

To learn more about PACE lending in Omaha or elsewhere, visit the www.PACESAGE.com website or contact Chris Peterson, PACE Sage Capital Managing Partner for Nebraska, at chris@pacesage.com or 402-470-7294.

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