Friday, March 21, 2014

Extension Helping Communities Take Advantage of Property Assessed Clean Energy Funding

Jeff Barber, housing and environmental design specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Communities across Missouri are considering ways that they can take advantage of PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) funding, allowed by Missouri law since 2010 according to Jeff Barber, a housing and environmental design specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“This innovative method of financing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements for commercial, agricultural, industrial, multi-family, not-for-profit and public properties binds the debt to the property rather than the owner, allowing repayment of an annual increment that is billed with the property’s tax bill and can transfer from owner to owner,” said Barber.

The key is that funding is based on the utility cost offset by the improvements and must have a positive cash-flow from day one.


Under a “Memorandum of Understanding” between the Missouri Clean Energy Funding District ( and the University of Missouri, MU Extension specialists are helping communities and counties take the first necessary steps to participate, by assisting passage of ordinances and resolutions that enable property owners access to  PACE funding.

Specialists like Barber will also work with civic leaders, economic developers and the business community to identify eligible properties and originate potential PACE funded projects.

PACE was listed a one of 20 ways to build a cleaner, healthy and smarter world in the December 2009 issue of Scientific American magazine.

“PACE has been seen as the latest economic development tool available to communities with no public liability or fiscal impact such as tax abatement, allowing communities to reactivate their existing structures and supporting infrastructure,” said Barber.


Most recently, Barber helped the Reeds Spring Board of Aldermen pass a PACE participation ordinance.

“Two primary aspects became the focus of how PACE could help their community by first focusing on the Old Reeds Spring High School Community Center, then Spring Street businesses,” said Barber.

He also assisted Lamar in passing their PACE participation ordinance during the summer of 2012 with the hope of reactivating the O’Sullivan plant, retaining existing businesses and building on the progress of the DREAM Initiative for the revitalization of their downtown and Square.

Springfield and Greene County are currently investigating how they can best engage PACE funding following the endorsement of three Springfield Field Guide 2030 committees.

“PACE is central to recommendations from the Environmental Advisory Board’s Green Building Taskforce, the community has expressed strong support for moving forward with a PACE funding option, possibly passing a Missouri Clean Energy Funding District participation ordinance before summer,” said Barber.

For 100 years, MU Extension has engaged Missourians in relevant programs based on University of Missouri research. The year 2014 marks the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, which formalized the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service, a national network whose purpose is to extend university-based knowledge beyond the campus.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at


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