Monthly Archives: July 2013

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July 22, 2013
By Business Journal staff

Four projects to reduce energy use are on their way in Fresno after a San Diego firm Figtree Energy Financing issued an $809,900 bond to progress California’s Property Assessed Clean Energy initiatives.

Under Figtree’s PACE program, property owners install energy efficient improvements that they pay back through assessments on their property tax bills.

Among those, Fresno is being helped with a total of $498,477—or around 61 percent—from the bond, including solar, cool roof and lighting improvements at three commercial office properties and an energy-efficient electrical upgrade for one light industrial property.

Besides the four projects being financed in Fresno, Palm Springs is benefiting from three energy-reducing projects, including solar photovoltaic systems at a resort hotel and a commercial office property and a new highly-efficient HVAC system for a residential desert property.

“Figtree eliminates risk for all parties involved in PACE transactions—property owners, contractors, mortgage lenders, investors and the jurisdictions in which we’re funding improvements,” said Figtree CEO Mahesh Shah, in a release. “Because we aggregate projects and then issue them as bonds, we can fund improvements as small as $5,000 to those in the millions of dollars.”

Around 30 cities throughout California are already participating in Figtree’s PACE program. Energy savings vary between 20 to 30 percent while project financing can be paid back for up to 20 years through regular payments on one’s property taxes.

Property owners can find out more about energy-saving projects by calling Figtree at 1-877-577-7373 or visiting the company’s website at figtreecompany.com.

Last September, Fresno also signed up with a similar PACE program offered through CaliforniaFIRST, a program sponsored by the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities that now reaches more than 100 counties and cities across the state.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Ryan Ahearn, Figtree Financing
rahearn@figtreefinancing.com
Direct: (858) 771-0896

 Successive PACE Financing Wins Make FIGTREE the First and Only Commercial PACE Provider in California to Fund Multiple Project Rounds That Create Contractor Jobs Using No Public Monies

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The commercial PACE experts at FIGTREE Energy Financing are achieving new PACE heights by issuing the largest multi-jurisdictional, non-subsidized PACE bond in the history of commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy in California. The $809,900 bond is financing seven energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in Fresno and Palm Springs – and brings the total of FIGTREE-financed projects in California’s nascent PACE marketplace to over $1.5 million.

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a new breed of financing that provides commercial property owners with up-front private-sector capital to realize the money-saving benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades based strictly on property values – usually 10% of an assessed property’s value. FIGTREE finances projects from as little as $5,000 into the millions of dollars. FIGTREE’s unique brand of financing is available for commercial, industrial, office, retail, agricultural and multi-family properties of five or more units.

PACE requires no money down, no minimum FICO score and provides for attractive off balance sheet financing that doesn’t impact a property owner’s credit score or capacity to borrow for other business needs. Simply stated, PACE puts the economic benefits of hundreds of solar, water and energy improvements within reach of most any property owner.

The Bond Buyer

by: Keeley Webster
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

 

LOS ANGELES — A program that uses bond financing to help commercial real estate owners finance energy retrofits on their properties took another stride forward as one of the leaders in the California industry placed a second $809,000 private placement bond.

Figtree Energy Financing released information Wednesday morning about the bond financing through a Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, program that funds seven energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in Fresno and Palm Springs.

“Figtree’s success in financing these projects is sure to inspire property owners to investigate how PACE can improve their assets, increase cash-flow, provide a hedge against rising energy costs and benefit from any qualifying tax incentives,” said PACENow Executive Director David Gabrielson in a news release.
Figtree closed July 10 on the $809,000 private market bond with a Chicago-based commercial real estate finance company, according to Terri Steele, Figtree’s vice president of public affairs and media, who declined to name the company.

The projects financed are: solar, cool roof and lighting improvements at three commercial office properties in Fresno; an energy-efficient electrical upgrade for one light industrial property in Fresno; the nation’s first hybrid solar PV system at a Palm Springs resort hotel; solar PV to offset electricity use at a Palm Springs commercial office property and a energy-efficient HVAC system for a residential desert property.

The financing brings the total of Figtree-financed projects in California to more than $1.5 million since the company was founded in late 2011.

“We are tilling new soil here,” said Mahesh Shah, Figtree’s chief executive officer in an interview. “Getting to this point has taken considerable energy and tenacity.”

PACE was originally conceived in Berkeley, Calif., in October 2008 as a way to help homeowners pay the upfront costs of installing energy efficient technologies. Today’s PACE programs help both residential and commercial property owners pay for energy retrofits using longer-term financing, so the cost of the equipment can be paid through savings made through lower utility bills.

PACE programs stalled on the residential front, however, after the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ordered the government-sponsored enterprises in July 2010 not to underwrite mortgages for homes with PACE loans. FHFA was concerned because the PACE liens are senior to the mortgage, so the PACE lender would be paid ahead of the bank, or Fannie or Freddie, in the event of a foreclosure. PACE liens are added to the property owner’s tax bill and stay with the property if it is sold, similar to the way that special assessments are done when new residential communities are built, to pay for infrastructure.