Successful event featured speakers, networking and exhibitors using POWER of PACE financing for greater Net Operating Income (NOI), building valuation and comfort/wellness of inhabitants, while lowering operation/maintenance costs, costs of capital and transitioning to a smaller building carbon footprint.
Bali Kumar, CEO of Lean & Green Michigan, the state’s PACE administrator, welcomed attendees to the event. It’s evident of the great interest in PACE due to the large number of participants at the first ever event held in Michigan.
Participants also heard from Liesl Clark, Director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Ms. Clark echoed a positive message of changes to be implemented at the Department to be more responsive to relevant issues of the day, particularly Climate Change.
Detroit City Councilman, Scott Benson, discussed strides made by the Green Task Force on behalf of the City Council of Detroit. Formed several years ago by Council, The Green Task Force has been a driving force behind sustainable green projects and creation of the Detroit Office of Sustainability. Their work on policy change has been instrumental in leading the city down a path towards sustainability.
Bali Kumar moderated a panel with Monsoor Ghori, CEO of Petros, one of the largest US companies financing PACE Projects in 18 states, along with Todd Williams, Sr. Counsel with Lean & Green Michigan, helping close PACE projects across the state. It was a “rapid fire” event, answering questions from both the moderator and substantive audience participation.
MORE WAYS FOR BUILDING OWNERS TO SAVE
While PACE projects were featured at the event, organizers brought in DTE and Consumers to discuss their incentive programs for further savings by building owners and developers. Ken Randazzo, DTE’s Manager of Energy Optimization Partnership along with Jon Somerville, Consumer’s Business Energy and New Construction Advisor, outlined their respective utilities incentive and rebate programs to help push building owners into thinking about long term energy savings, not just purchasing with today’s dollars in mind.
Before lunch the audience heard from Laura Long, representing the Detroit Region US Green Building Council (usgbc) on ways to make a building more sustainable through assistance from this non-profit worldwide organization. Also outlining programs were Connie Lilley, Director of the Detroit 2030 District and Cheri Holman, Director of USGBC West Michigan on behalf of the Grand Rapids 2030 District, who provided insight on the goals and present achievements of these new districts in their respective cities. We will be hearing more from these local sustainable initiatives as their messages permeate deeper with the business, development and building owner communities they represent.
Joel Howrani Heeres, Director of Detroit’s Office of Sustainability, discussed the origins of the new Office and its mission moving forward. While much work needs to be done, the Detroit Office of Sustainability is having a far reach effect by changing the way we do business throughout the massive city bureaucracy.
The day ended with information from Diana Nash, Client Solutions Consultant with Energy Sciences on the story of IBEW Local 58’s transformation to a Net Zero Energy building in Corktown. The case study was presented, followed by a tour of the building’s unique sustainable features.
From comments of attendees, most seemed satisfied with the information delivered at the First PACE Michigan Summit. The market seems open and ready for use of this powerful economic development tool and the only holdback is lack of awareness and knowledge. Educating building owners and developers to use this tool in their toolbox for smarter, healthier, more comfortable buildings using less energy and water, saving money and Michiganders enjoying a cleaner environment are the key to opening up the market. Looking forward to the Second Annual PACE Summit in 2020.
Robert Mattler, JD LLM LEED AP BD&C, is Sr. Editor for Greening Michigan.com. As a sustainable financing specialist, Bob consults with developers, redevelopers and building owners on financing upgrades to all asset classes of non-residential real estate for resiliency and sustainability. A former Board Member of USGBC Detroit Chapter and current Ambassador for Detroit’s 2030 District and Leadership Council member of Ann Arbor’s 2030 District, Robert employs public-private financing law – Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and other financial structures allowing building owners to lower operating costs, increase building value without changing the owners’ goals of maximizing investment returns. Robert can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-762-4370 (cell).