Monthly Archives: October 2013


Clean-Energy-Authority, October 25, 2013

By Amanda H. Miller


Cities and counties are increasingly focused on helping their resident businesses go green without requiring any upfront cash.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is making this dream a reality. The financing model allows property owners to borrow money from the local government, usually on a 20-year term, and repay it with a special property tax assessment that won’t require a cash down payment or inhibit the businesses ability to borrow money for operations in the future.

PACE was originally designed to help homeowners install rooftop solar panels, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they wouldn’t support loans for properties with PACE financing, which essentially killed the program in the residential real estate arena.

“A lot of people thought PACE was on hold or dead after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But commercial PACE doesn’t have those challenges,” said Ryan Ahearn, Vice President of Marketing for Figtree Financing, which is rapidly expanding its PACE program. “Commercial PACE financing is emerging as a much more viable solution.”

Several states are retooling their laws to permit commercial PACE financing. Many cities and counties are working with companies like Figtree, loaning money to businesses while simultaneously growing their green economies.

“There is significant growth nationwide,” Ahearn added. “There’s a lot of demand and opportunity in this market.”

Figtree is actively managing commercial PACE programs in 46 California cities and counties. While the lender is currently only working in California, Figtree is looking to expand outside of the state in the near future.

Places like Connecticut are embracing and quickly growing their PACE markets. Connecticut businesses have already invested more than $5 million in solar installations and energy efficiency upgrades. This in and of itself is impressive, since the program just launched there at the beginning of 2013.


CONTACT: Ryan Ahearn, Figtree Financing
Direct: (858) 771-0896

 Growing adoption from cities and counties has created a program with high demand

(San Diego, CA:  October 23, 2013) – Figtree Financing, a leading provider of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, issued its third bond bond on October 22, 2013. This issue comes just over 3 months after having funded improvements to 7 California properties in a prior bond issue. The latest bond, with a value of $478,100, includes 4 projects in the cities of Chico, Bakersfield, and Palm Springs, bringing the total value of commercial PACE projects financed by Figtree to over $2 million.

This bond funded solar and cool roof improvements to two retail shopping facilities, a commercial warehouse, and a hotel. Ryan Ahearn, VP of Marketing for Figtree Financing, highlighted that “this bond issue is proof that we are seeing increased demand for commercial PACE financing from a variety of property types and that Figtree is now able to fund projects much more quickly than in the past.”

PACE’s unique financing enables a variety of improvements, particularly those that have a long useful life and benefit from a long-term amortization like solar, HVAC and cool roofing. “The solar project utilizing PACE financing in Chico is worth an estimated $140,000 to the property owner with no money down. Over time, the annual energy savings are projected to exceed the amount of the PACE payment,” stated Paul Sullivan, Sales Manager for Alternative Energy Systems, the contractor for this project. “Energy savings, rebates, and tax incentives also help to make solar projects cash flow and net present value positive from the onset. We expect to see a growing number of projects financed with Figtree PACE in the coming year,” added Sullivan.

Adoption of solar technology is accelerating via PACE financing; 39% of the projects financed via commercial PACE include solar and the remaining 61% are energy efficiency improvements such as HVAC and cool roofing according to “For every $1 million spent on solar and energy efficiency an estimated 20 jobs are created according to construction industry multipliers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. With over $43 million in projects financed via Commercial PACE nationwide, an estimated 860 jobs have been created around the country, and this is just the beginning” added David Gabrielson, Executive Director of