PACE Program Expected To Be Developed For Frederick County

It will provide loans for businesses to install alternative energy systems.

Frederick, Md (KM)  Solar, geothermal and wind powered systems; water conservation measures; and construction and renovation projects which reduce energy consumption are just some of the projects that could be funded under a new program being developed for Frederick County.

During her public information briefing on Tuesday, County Executive Jan Gardner described the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE. “PACE is essentially a loan program, that uses private sector funds. But through PACE, a commercial or business entity can take out a private loan to make clean energy improvements. And then pay that loan back over time through a special assessment on their property tax bill,” she says.

But Gardner says no taxpayer money will be loaned out, and the county will not be taking any risk with these loans. “The loan is made by a traditional lender and administered by a third party,” she says. “And it’s voluntary. So a voluntary assessment is placed on the property in the form of a lien. And it is the responsibility for the loan payment tied to the property and the property tax bill.”

Gardner says she heard from several businesses which are interested in the PACE program.

She says the legislation will be introduced to the County Council on Tuesday, August 30th. A public hearing is expected to take place on September 20th, says Gardner.

“The County is primary role is to act as a catalyst, bringing together businesses and creating opportunities for investment,”she said.