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D.C. is Helping Commercial Properties Pay for Solar Panels

Washington, D.C. businesses will now save in electric bills by installing solar panels on their buildings, even with the cost of installation. Last Friday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the Property Assessed Energy Act (PACE) was up and running with its first client in a Brightwood BP gas station. The Washington Post reported that the gas station owner will save approximately $56,000 in the next 20 years with PACE program, even with the $157,000 cost. To get solar panels, all commercial building owners are able to avoid upfront costs and obtain relatively low-interest loans. Regional President for United Bank Thomas Nida told The Washington Post that the program is a win-win for both parties; the local business is more attractive to banks, property owners save on their energy bills, and the construction helps the local economy.

For those who value saving on electrical bills with tax payments, the way to become part of the PACE program is to contact Bethesda-based clean-energy firm Urban Ingenuity, who will assess the commercial property and determine the cost of installing solar panels. The only way that a property is eligible for the program is if the total accrued interest on the loan is less than the energy savings for the lifetime of those panels, according to The Washington Post. The reason why the PACE program only applies to commercial properties and not residential ones is because if the borrower defaults, the taxing authorities are paid before the mortgage holder. If an owner sells the property before fully paying for the solar panels, the special property assignment will be passed on to the next owner whether they like it or not.
· Want solar panels on your property? D.C. will help you pay for them. [The Washington Post]