New legislation would expand Michigan’s PACE program, protect our water

New legislation would expand Michigan’s PACE program, protect our water

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation introduced Thursday by Reps. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) and Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township) would expand the commercial PACE statute, which currently funds clean energy and energy efficiency projects to include critical water upgrades to mitigate against lead and PFAS contamination.

“We urgently need to update infrastructure to address the serious threats posed by climate change,” Rep. Rabhi said. “Property-assessed financing is a great tool enabling businesses to save on long-term costs and limit their impact on the climate. By expanding PACE, we will also empower them to adapt their properties to be resilient to the hazards of climate change like flooding, drought, and extreme weather.”

PACE programs offer upfront capital for commercial projects that increase energy efficiency and renewable energy while saving costs and reducing pollution. House Bills 5011 and 5012 would improve upon this, allowing the tool to finance additional projects related to water quality and authorizing all PACE projects for multifamily residential properties as well as newly constructed buildings. House bill 5011 is sponsored by Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) and House Bill 5012 is sponsored by Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township) .

“We’ve seen what happens when Michigan infrastructure is put on the back burner,” said Rep. Brabec. “Expanding PACE will help Michigan businesses obtain low-cost, long-term financing for renewable energy projects and other sustainability upgrades, all while taking steps to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“With the  threats to our water posed by toxic lead and PFAS contamination, Michigan’s increasingly successful PACE law is in need of an update to support water improvements for buildings to protect the health of Michigan communities,” said Nick Occhipinti, government affairs director for Michigan LCV. “Done right, this new and improved commercial PACE bill would give commercial property owners another tool to address important environmental upgrades, like PFAS remediation, flood mitigation infrastructure, and lead paint removal in older businesses and apartment buildings. We commend Reps. Rabhi and Brabec for their leadership on this issue and urge lawmakers in the House to support this important legislation to upgrade our buildings and protect our health.”

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