Interest in energy efficiency for buildings and adding renewable energy like solar has been growing in recent years in Pine County. In May 2017 Pine County entered the MN Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE), which offers businesses, farms, multi-family housing, nonprofits, and places of worship financing for energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The financing is repaid as a separate item on property tax assessments for a set period. In this way, PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing. Projects may include HVAC upgrades, LED lighting, insulation, solar and wind energy, and more.
On Friday September 8, Pine County along with state and local partners, will host two workshops for prospective applicants to come learn about the program.
Sandstone: A workshop has been scheduled from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Essentia Health Sandstone, 708 Lundorff Drive. This workshop will include an additional presentation from the City of Sandstone. Sandstone was awarded funds from DEED to rehab six businesses and 13 owner occupied homes in downtown Sandstone. 70 percent to 100 percent of these deferred loans are forgivable if the owner of the business or home keeps the property in their name for 10 years.
Pine City: A second workshop has been scheduled from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Pine City Library Community Room, 300 5th St SE, Pine City.
If people want to learn more about PACE and take action, the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have an extensive resource page with program details and applications, factsheets, success stories, and frequently asked questions at http://www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/pace.