Missouri Business

PACE: Creating Jobs, Boosting Missouri’s Economy

By John Maslowski

Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, entered Missouri markets only a few years ago, and local businesses and communities across the state are already reaping the benefits.

Residential PACE provides up-front financing for homeowners to make energy-efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their homes, then pay over time through a line item on their property tax bill. City and county governments can make this financing option available to property owners within their jurisdiction by voting to join the Missouri Clean Energy District (MCED).

The PACE-fueled increase in demand for energy-related home improvement is boosting local economies and creating local contractor, home-improvement and clean-energy jobs. PACE also improves the housing stock of participating communities, and it benefits homeowners, who generally reap significant energy savings.

John Maslowski is a member of the Missouri Chamber’s Environmental and Energy Council and is the Vice President of Market Development for Renovate America.

The Missouri Chamber Environmental and Energy Council is charged with “discussing practical ways to ensure a positive energy future” for our state, while never losing sight of economic development. With its focus on reducing energy consumption and its attendant support of local economic growth, PACE is contributing to that mission in a significant way.

MCED partners with Renovate America, the largest residential PACE provider in the country. Since Renovate America first launched their HERO PACE financing in Jackson County in September of last year, efficiency projects have been completed in more than 900 homes. In the process, HERO has contributed to the creation of more than 100 jobs and has invested $15 million into our local economies, creating an estimated overall economic stimulus of $20 million.

PACE is an important player in the booming clean energy economy, which is already supporting more than 55,000 jobs in our state, according to research by the Clean Energy Trust and BW Research. These jobs are predominantly in the energy efficiency sector.

By drawing on private financing through Renovate America, MCED incurs zero costs to local budgets. As a statewide political subdivision that communities can choose to join, MCED provides oversight to PACE activity, ensuring strong consumer safeguards.

MCED has over 85 member cities and counties in Missouri, primarily in the metro areas of Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia. Each of these cities has adopted a membership ordinance in MCED. The PACE financing option is now available to almost 50 percent of Missouri households.

Projections show PACE-financed activity growing exponentially over the next five years, bringing more local jobs to our communities, an influx of funds to our local economies, and financial benefits to homeowners. This is good news for Missouri.