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Posted on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Application fees set for Ann Arbor's new PACE program

By Ryan J. Stanton

The Ann Arbor City Council on Monday supported the final step to fully implement the city's new Property Assessed Clean Energy program.

A resolution approved by council sets the application fees for the PACE program, which is a special financing mechanism to help commercial property owners in Ann Arbor undertake energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Through the PACE program, qualifying property owners are able to borrow money for energy efficiency projects ranging from $10,000 to $350,000 and then pay back the loans through special assessments added onto their tax bills for up to 10 years.


Andrew Brix

The program is a joint effort of the city of Ann Arbor and Clean Energy Coalition. City officials believe the availability of PACE financing will support economic stimulation across the city, create jobs and reduce operating costs for business owners.

The $230 title search fee established by council covers the actual cost of a title search to verify ownership of property and determine the presence of existing liens or encumbrances. The $300 review fee covers technical review and project tracking.

Additionally, business must pay a fee that covers the cost of recording the assessment at the county clerk's office of $14 for the first page and $3 for each additional page.

The program is being set up so the estimated energy savings must be greater than the cost of the assessment, meaning it should be immediate savings for property owners. City officials are hoping to change state law to be able to extend the program to residential properties.

The city said in a news release today that commercial properties — defined as any property that is not a single-family home, duplex or certain townhouses — can apply for financing for energy projects such as heating and air conditioning equipment, lighting, system controls, insulation and weather sealing, cool roofs, windows and doors, geothermal systems, energy star appliances and solar photovoltaic systems.

Andrew Brix, the city's energy programs manager, said the development and implementation of the PACE program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. If application review costs exceed the fees collected in the first year of the program, he said, excess costs will be covered by the grant funds, and fees will be adjusted accordingly.

More information on the PACE program is available at

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.