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East Cleveland Library First In Ohio To Utilize PACE Energy Efficiency Financing

By NOPEC on May 7, 2019

East Cleveland, OH (May 1, 2019) – East Cleveland Public Library became the first library in the state of Ohio to secure a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan to finance energy efficiency improvements that, when fully implemented, will generate an annual savings of more than $27,000.  With the assistance of Cleveland law firm Cavitch Familo & Durkin, the library obtained the $218,000 loan through NOPEC’s energy efficiency financing program.

Planned improvements to the 39,500-square-foot library, which opened in 1916 as an original Carnegie-designed building, include installation of new lighting, windows, insulation, HVAC system, boiler and other related controls. These improvements are expected to reduce electricity consumption by 38 percent and natural gas consumption by 35 percent.  In addition to the annual savings, the library will receive nearly $9,000 in estimated cash utility incentives.

“As a library, we were looking for ways to reduce our operating budget, so we did what librarians do best and did our research,” said former East Cleveland Library Director Sheba Marcus-Bey.  “When we came upon the PACE loan, it seemed too good to be true.  However, this is a case in which it truly is as good as it appears.  This loan is a wonderful opportunity to save money and direct greater resources to our programs and community offerings.”

Once the library identified the PACE loan as an opportunity, ECPL’s legal partner Cavitch Familo & Durkin helped select the lowest cost option for obtaining the loan and to assist with the necessary community approval process.  The law firm identified NOPEC’s PACE financing program as the lowest cost, with a 3 percent interest rate over the 10-year term of the loan.

“It is critical that public entities look for creative ways to preserve operating revenue, particularly in communities such as East Cleveland where property values are not increasing as they are in other parts of the state,” said Angela Bennett, project attorney for Cavitch Familo & Durkin.  “We hope this project will become a model not only for libraries in the state of Ohio, but across the country, as a way to direct more resources to the public.”

NOPEC launched its PACE program in May 2016, offering financing of $100,000 to $500,000 for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for commercial, industrial and governmental properties in all member communities. Public and private sector commercial properties, enrolled in NOPEC’s electric and gas aggregation programs, are eligible for this unique financing tool.

“This program gives our members another community and economic development tool, and our customers a way to finance energy-saving projects,” said South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo, NOPEC’s Cuyahoga County Board Representative.  “As the first in the community to obtain this loan, it establishes the East Cleveland Library as a leader to support business development and assist other entities.”

Tags: NOPEC, Small business
Categories: Newsroom

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