Louisville partnering with Energize Kentucky to administer Energy Program Assessment District Program
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government has entered into an agreement with Energize Kentucky for the administration of an Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) program. The EPAD program allows for Louisville’s businesses and organizations to install renewable energy systems and increase their energy efficiency by providing a financing mechanism on property tax bills. As the administrator, Energize Kentucky will continue to advance the EPAD program through outreach to the local community via contractors, commercial real estate companies and commercial property owners.
To date, the participating property owners only had one option for the billing and collection of the EPAD special assessment. Now, Energize Kentucky will be able to offer a second option, which may result in a lower fee to the participating property owner. This new option also makes the program available to more properties, specifically larger developments for which fees can be fixed.
“We must increase our efforts to address climate change and the EPAD system is one tool for commercial and industrial building owners to make investments in renewable energy,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. Since its adoption, the EPAD program has been used by varied properties including a church, a hotel and multi-family housing. “This new partnership with Energize Kentucky makes it easier for more properties to invest in renewable energy, and we are grateful Energize Kentucky is joining us in this mission.”
“Energize Kentucky is extremely excited to partner with Louisville Metro and the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability,” said Energize Kentucky Program Manager Chris Jones. “Since 2015, we have worked diligently with local governments throughout the Commonwealth to advance sustainability and economic development goals with the creation and advancement of EPAD programs. We look forward to building upon the accomplishments already achieved by the Louisville Metro EPAD Program.”
Additionally, a new retroactive EPAD financing option will now be available to property owners. Property owners can refinance eligible improvements that were previously installed and financed with debt. This option has become popular throughout the country and allows property owners to reduce outstanding mortgage debt and then potentially increase working capital lines of credit in conjunction with their mortgage institution.
Also contributing to the future success of the program, the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that was scheduled to be reduced to 22% in 2021 is now at a level of 26% for the years 2021 and 2022. With special assessment financing through the EPAD Program, solar projects can obtain a 30-year term while taking advantage of the ITC and other tax depreciation benefits with no down payment required. For additional information about solar energy in Louisville, https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/installing-solar-lou….
In 2015, the Kentucky General Assembly enacted legislation authorizing local governments to establish Energy Project Assessment Districts (EPADs), which provides an innovative way for commercial, agricultural, industrial, and multi-family property owners to pay for energy efficiency upgrades, on-site renewable energy systems, and water conservation measures. Unlike traditional financing, EPAD financing can provide 100% of an energy project’s cost that is repaid with a voluntary special assessment added to the property tax record. EPADs, known nationally as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) have been authorized through state legislation in approximately 40 states. Energize Kentucky has been a Program Administrator for EPADs throughout the Commonwealth since 2015.
In 2016, Metro Council enacted EPAD legislation. The ordinance designated the entirety of Louisville Metro as an EPAD and identified the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability (APS) as the coordinating and administrating agency for the EPAD Program.
For more information on Louisville’s EPAD program, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/epad-program