County’s membership to help commercial building owners access low-cost, long-term financing

JAMESTOWN — Chautauqua County Executive George M. Borrello and Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC) jointly announced that Chautauqua County has joined EIC, which enables Chautauqua County’s businesses and not-for-profits to participate in EIC’s Energize NY Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance program. EIC’s Board voted unanimously to accept Chautauqua County into the program, making Chautauqua County the first county in the Western New York Region to join.

The county’s membership allows commercial, industrial, agricultural, multifamily and non-profit property owners to access Energize NY PACE financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that is repaid through a charge on the property’s tax bill. PACE financing is an alternative to traditional project financing that can fund up to 100 percent of the project costs with competitive, fixed interest rates for flexible terms of five to up to 20 years.

“I am proud that our county has taken this step to give businesses, including those in agriculture, the opportunity to adopt clean energy improvements that directly and positively impact their businesses,” said Borrello.

“The Legislature’s unanimous, bipartisan, support demonstrates its firm commitment to supporting smart energy initiatives,” said County Legislator Mark Odell. “The Energize NY program will be a great tool for our Economic Development folks to help improve the bottom line of existing businesses and also demonstrate the smart energy ‘tone’ of the county to new businesses they are trying to attract.”

Chautauqua County’s Division of Planning and Community Development has promoted the Energize NY PACE program over the past year as an economic and community development tool and was instrumental in advancing the county’s initiative to become a member.

Chautauqua County is now the 14th county and one of 43 municipalities to offer Energize NY PACE finance and commercial services. In addition to helping building owners reduce energy waste and save money, the county’s membership in EIC offers other benefits such as job creation for local contractors working in energy-related sectors as well as an improved building stock.

“EIC is excited to welcome Chautauqua County as a member and to offer Energize NY PACE as an important tool for its businesses to help reduce energy waste and capture savings,” said Mark Thielking, Executive Director of Energize NY. “The county’s building stock offers great potential to benefit from Energize NY PACE, and its agricultural businesses can leverage free energy audits from New York State that will help them qualify for Energize NY PACE financing for energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades.”

Energize NY PACE financing is enabled through local legislation, and with support from local elected officials the Chautauqua County legislature passed the legislation on June 28, 2017.