Energy Efficiency

Keeping PACE in Texas honored as the 2013 Statewide Collaborative of the Year

We’re please to announce that Keeping PACE in Texas was honored as the 2013 Statewide Collaborative of the Year at the Texas Renewables 2013 Conference organized by the Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association (TREIA). The award was presented to Keeping PACE in Texas “for building constituencies and coordinating the roll out of an innovative financing method for energy and water efficiency projects in Texas.”

Keeping PACE in Texas is a non-profit business association organized for the purpose of promoting Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs throughout the state of Texas. Under the leadership of Executive Director Charlene Heydinger, KPT’s first goal – the enactment of PACE-enabling legislation – was accomplished on June 14, 2013, with the passage of The Property Assessed Clean Energy Act.

KPT is now focused on assisting counties and municipalities with the creation, design, and implementation of locally-administered PACE programs. To this end, KPT is organizing a group of more than 50 stakeholders – property owners, lenders, energy service companies, industry trade associations, local governmental authorities, and others – in a collaboration to create uniform standards, documentation, and best practices for PACE financing programs in Texas. The effort takes into account best practices and lessons learned in other parts of the country.

Upon completion of this effort, KPT will assemble a tool kit, to be known as “PACE in a Box”, containing everything a county or municipality requires to establish effective PACE programs at the local or regional level throughout the state. The development of PACE in a Box will accelerate the implementation of PACE financing programs in Texas, enabling Texas to serve as a model for other states to follow as they implement their PACE programs.

PACE financing in Texas featured in Texas Tribune, New York Times

PACE News

Property Assessed Clean Energy financing in Texas was front page news in the Texas Tribune and New York Times today, highlighting its effectiveness as a mechanism to boost energy efficiency.

The approach, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, addresses the biggest barrier to efficiency investments: initial costs that can take years to recoup. A law allowing cities and counties to set up programs passed this year with overwhelming support in the Legislature.

PACE allows the owners of commercial and industrial property to use a property tax lien to finance energy efficiency upgrades like solar panels and water recycling systems. PACE programs bill an owner through the lien and forward payments to a private lender. Under a smooth-running program, property owners pay less than what they save on their energy bills. If a property is sold, the new owner would inherit the debt — a rule meant to further reduce the risks of investment.

For more information about PACE in Texas, visit http://www.keepingpaceintexas.org/

Source: Texas Tribune, New York Times

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Approves PACE Program for Low-Cost Financing of Water, Energy Conservation Projects

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed legislation allowing local property taxing authorities to enact ordinances enabling Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs across the state. PACE financing will allow commercial and industrial building owners to obtain low-cost, long-term private sector financing for water conservation and energy-efficiency improvements. With Gov. Perry’s signature, the PACE program is effective immediately.

The Texas PACE Act places emphasis on energy and water saving retrofits in industrial and commercial properties, effectively incentivizing some of the largest energy consumers in the country to reduce their consumption. Texas consumes more electricity than any other state, and industry accounts for almost half of that energy use, according to the United States Energy Information Administration.

New efficiencies in equipment and processes – including some efficiencies identified through the US BCSD’s By-Product and Water Synergy methodologies – will dramatically lower water usage, energy needs and costs, as well as reduced waste and disposal costs. PACE districts have been authorized in 30 states, with impressive financial benefits already apparent. Recently in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a $65,000 project to improve lighting, insulation, heating and cooling systems and reducing water use at a commercial property was completed and projected savings for tenants in energy costs range from $500 to $5,000 a year.

For the last nine years, CEOs have ranked Texas as the best state in which to do business. “PACE will help Texans meet the conservation goals in our State Water Plan and reduce demand on our electric grid,” says Sen. John Carona, sponsor of SB 385. “These savings will benefit the building owners directly and help keep the Texas economic engine primed for growth and prepared for the continuing influx of people moving to Texas to share in our prosperity.”

Accelerating Sustainable Solutions through Transformative Business Education

The US BCSD, WBCSD, and deans and professors from Yale School of Management and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies met last week to accelerate sustainable solutions through business education. This partnership opportunity aligns the WBCSD global business community, its Regional Network, and the Global Network for Advanced Management to pursue co-development of transformative business education, extensive research opportunities, and regional project collaboration.

In the complex world of scaling up business solutions to sustainability, top universities, particularly business and management schools, have a key role to play in educating the leaders of today and tomorrow. Partnership with the WBCSD provides access to senior executives of companies who are at the forefront of corporate sustainable innovation and practices, and equally important, access to its Regional Network which provides regionally specific insights on corporate sustainability project opportunities and barriers.

The Global Network for Advanced Management brings together 23 universities from 23 countries of varying regions, cultures, and economies in different phases of development. The coalition of universities work together on four key goal challenges, one of which is sustainability. Students from participating schools travel for a week of intensive study organized around a theme, company visits, and networking. Geographically, 20 of the 23 universities are located in countries with strong WBCSD Regional Network affiliates.

By partnering with a university consortium like the Global Network for Advanced Management that shares our sense of urgency on sustainability, we’re providing our members with a groundbreaking new opportunity create innovative sustainability solutions and foster the appropriate framework conditions to bring them to scale.

US BCSD Winter Meeting 2013 Recap

US BCSD members and other sustainability experts came from around the country to the University of Texas at Austin to grapple with the complexities of scaling up solutions to Vision 2050 through collaborative learning and real, actionable regional projects.

The US BCSD Winter Meeting was unique this year in its diverse assembly of participants, creating a rare opportunity for sustainability professionals from multiple industries to collaborate and learn alongside cutting edge researchers and federal, state and local policymakers. A number of highly actionable outcomes were created as a result.

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Scale up Solutions: Winter Meeting 2013

Join us this February 6-7, 2013 for our Winter Meeting in Austin, Texas. Collaborate, share, and build strategies with US BCSD members and other sustainability experts to tackle sustainable development challenges impacting your business. Grapple with the complexities of scaling up solutions to Vision 2050 through collective learning and real, actionable regional projects in the US. Join together here to learn from one another and apply our collective expertise in groundbreaking new ways.

Click here to visit our meeting website, and register today.

Operationalizing Vision 2050: First Quarter Report

Operationalizing Vision 2050: First Quarter Report

On June 27-28, 2012, US BCSD and WBCSD members, government, academic, NGO, and other sustainability thought leaders gathered at Yale University’s Center for Business and the Environment to define directions to reach a sustainable world in which nine billion people can live well and within the planet’s resources by 2050.

Meeting attendees worked on partnerships, synergies and projects that combined US BCSD regional implementation strategies with the WBCSD’s global business solutions, using the framework of the WBCSD’s Vision 2050 sustainability pathway. Attendees discussed examples of successful activities already under way to achieve Vision 2050 “must haves” and sought out ways to help articulate, acknowledge and scale those activities. They then joined forces in an innovation workshop aimed at seeking out and encouraging step changes towards the Vision 2050 in the US.

Organized under four Vision 2050 focus areas, below are updates from regional US BCSD projects, new developments from the WBCSD work program, and member case studies from around the US.

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Spring Meeting 2012: Collaborate Today, Change Tomorrow

Spring Meeting 2012: Collaborate Today, Change Tomorrow

What’s helping us achieve a sustainable world and how do we scale it, brought close to 100 US BCSD and WBCSD members, government, academic and NGO colleagues, and other sustainability thought leaders to Yale University’s Center for Business and the Environment on June 27-28, 2012. The working agenda stressed collaboration first and foremost in defining directions to reach a sustainable world in which nine billion people can live well and within the planet’s resources by 2050.

Meeting attendees worked on partnerships, synergies and productive work outcomes that combined US BCSD regional implementation strategies with the WBCSD’s global Vision 2050 sustainability pathway. Over two days, attendees discussed examples of successful activities already under way to achieve Vision 2050 “must haves” and sought out ways to help articulate, acknowledge and scale those activities. They then joined forces in an innovation workshop aimed at seeking out and encouraging step changes towards the Vision 2050 in the US. Interspersed in this engaging group discussion were presentations and panels from sustainability thought leaders focusing on new financing mechanisms, organizational design, new collaboration opportunities, and examples of groundbreaking innovations highlighted in the breakout group pages below.

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