Monthly Archives: May 2013




New Free Online Publication Provides Handy Menu of 33 Sustainable, Money-Saving Financial and Technical Assistance Programs to Help Commerce Area Businesses Thrive

(City of Commerce, CA  June 5, 2013) — Dozens of business and property owners, contractors and public officials joined Commerce City Councilman Ivan Altamirano, the Commerce Industrial Council, California PACE provider FIGTREE and the community health advocates at East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice for a Business Benefits Workshop introducing the region’s first Guide to Green at the Rosewood Park Community Center at Commerce City Hall on May 30.

The Guide to Green is a free, online publication featuring at-a-glance summaries of 33 pro-business, pro-environment programs available at the federal, state and local levels.  Produced via a partnership between East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice and the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Guide to Green is designed to help Commerce businesses swiftly access a menu of sustainable, money-saving financial and technical assistance programs– and grant opportunities — to drive Commerce job creation while creating a more sustainable community.

“Commerce is home to over 1,800 businesses, many of whom could benefit from the complement of public and private-sector assistance programs featured in the Guide to Green,”  noted Commerce Industrial Council Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eddie Tafoya. “We’re here to facilitate access to these programs so businesses can determine what new resources are available to positively impact their bottom line,” Tafoya said.

CONTACT: Ryan Ahearn, Figtree PACE
Mobile: (858) 771-0896

Mario Pabon, Empower America
Toll Free: (866) 873-8842



Campaign Reminds Americans They Can Make EVERY Day Memorial Day by Hiring Solar-Trained Service Veterans Ready to Help Property Owners Slash Energy Costs and Drive American Energy Independence  


(San Diego,CA:   May 24, 2013) – Commercial PACE provider FIGTREE Energy Financing is teaming up with Empower America – a national non-profit that hires U.S. service veterans to construct domestic solar energy projects to shed light on Empower America’s work providing hands-on, boots-on-the-roof training and job placement for service veterans looking to re-enter the American civilian workforce.

“Our focus is creating American jobs for American veterans using American-made products to drive American energy independence,” said Empower America President and CEO Mario Pabon. “FIGTREE’s role in providing PACE financing to help contractors and property-owners jump-start commercial solar and energy efficiency projects falls right in line with our objectives.”

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a municipal economic development tool that qualifies commercial property owners for 100% up-front financing for money-saving energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements based strictly on assessed property values.  FIGTREE finances improvements on commercial, industrial and multi-family properties from as little $5,000 into the millions of dollars.

Empower America’s primary mission is to create workforce and economic development opportunities by developing renewable-energy projects for governments and businesses while recruiting, training and employing local service veterans to build those projects.

May 21, 2013

By: JP McNeill, CEO of Renovate America, and Mahesh Shah, CEO of FIGTREE Energy Financing

More and more municipalities are embracing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs as a valuable service they can offer to residents at no cost to the public coffers.

PACE makes it possible for property owners to finance certain energy-efficient upgrades through their property taxes and to pay for these improvements slowly over 5 to 20 years, depending on the cost and type of project. Because the financing mechanism is tied to a property owner’s assessments, the interest paid is tax deductible. And the upgrades often lower utility bills so significantly that the there is no net cost to the property owner on an annual

The road to getting PACE off the ground has been challenging at times. In its early stages, a handful of municipalities launched self-funded PACE efforts around the country. Since that time, private financing companies have gotten into the mix. Municipalities benefit from partnering with private financing companies because it allows them to offer PACE financing to residents without increasing strain on local government budgets.

A growing number of private companies are implementing some of the first privately-funded PACE programs on a significant scale. The companies are working with cities and counties to develop programs that are tailored for each municipal structure and property owners. While the core service provided by each of these companies may appear to be similar, each has a different approach that may make their business model more or less beneficial to different property owners.  Additionally, the interest rates offered by these companies will vary over time, no different than identifying who provides the lowest interest rates on mortgages, auto loans, or any other loan.  For example, one day Wells Fargo may offer the best price, and the next day Bank of America or a local community bank might be the best option.

(Encinitas, CA) On May 16th, the cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach and Carlsbad will host an educational forum on PACE that for the first time includes the full gamut of PACE providers looking to bring their unique brand(s) of financing to the greater San Diego marketplace.

Property owners, contractors, municipal officials and the public-at-large are invited to register to participate in the free public forum, to be held at Encinitas City Hall’s Poinsettia Room, 505 South Vulcan Avenue, Encinitas, California 92024.

“Even in a market this new, not all PACE providers are created equal,” said FIGTREE CEO Mahesh Shah. “We’re eager to help clarify the distinctions among PACE providers so elected officials, property owners and contractors understand their options,” he said. “We believe a competitive PACE marketplace – one that offers multiple PACE providers – drives excellence in the category and is the path to optimizing PACE success. PACE improves local building stock, saves property owners money, creates more sustainable communities and gets contractors back to work using no public monies. It’s a terrific, no-cost program worth any city’s consideration.” Shah added.