Ygrene News

News & Events


Ygrene’s Popular Building Upgrade Program Now Available in Sacramento and Yolo Counties

Offers 100 percent financing for commercial and residential property upgrades

Sacramento, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2013 – Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of building upgrade financing, today announced the expansion of its successful PACE financing programs to Sacramento and Yolo counties. This makes Ygrene – and its 100 percent financing for energy efficient, renewable energy and water conservation building improvements – available to thousands of additional property owners across Sacramento and Yolo counties.

Owners of both commercial and residential properties are encouraged to visit CleanEnergySac.com or CleanEnergyYolo.com to search their property, receive an instant building upgrade pre-qualification amount based on their property’s value, and apply online. Thousands of eligible improvements qualify, including heating and air conditioning systems, solar technology, new windows and roofs, and many more.

To celebrate the expansion, Ygrene is offering free applications, a $50 value, through the month of November using the promo codes “UPGRADEYOLO” and “UPGRADESAC.”

"We are pleased to offer this program to our residents and businesses, without taxpayer expense," said Phil Serna, Sacramento County Supervisor. "Ygrene's financing enables us to provide 100 percent financing for energy retrofits to property owners, create thousands of jobs, boost property values and help achieve Sacramento's goal of reducing energy use 15 percent by 2020 – that's a triple-win that benefits the entire region.”

Ygrene’s financing is a powerful alternative to traditional debt financing options. The financing is bound to the property rather than the individual or business and can transfer with a change in ownership in the same fashion as a property tax. Eligibility is based primarily on property value and equity (a minimum of 15 percent is required), rather than credit score. To date, the company has received nearly 200 applications in the City of Sacramento alone, valued at more than $45 million in potential building improvements. Dozens of local commercial and residential property owners are already using Ygrene financing for property upgrades, including the largest commercial PACE project in the nation, a $3.16 million upgrade of the Metro Center Corporate Park in Sacramento, scheduled for completion in December.

“Many Yolo residents have significant equity in their properties but not the substantial upfront funds typically required to make clean energy and water conservation improvements,” said Mike McGowan, Yolo County Supervisor and Board Vice Chair. “This program allows those owners to upgrade without the upfront costs and without taking on traditional debt.“

The Sacramento and Yolo county boards of supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to enact the program for all unincorporated areas. Most cities – including Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova, Sacramento, Davis, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland – have either already “opted in,” or are expected to in the coming weeks.

”We're thrilled to be expanding further in the region so more property owners have access to access to the financing they need to upgrade their buildings,” said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund. “We’re seeing a lot of pent up demand from folks who didn't have access to capital to make these improvements before—the financing was the missing piece."



About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the U.S. Ygrene's building upgrade financing provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene's Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs, invest hundreds of millions into local economies and drive massive reductions in greenhouse gasses. Learn more at ygrene.usCleanEnergySac.com and CleanEnergyYolo.com.

Media Contact
Julie Amos
AugustineIdeas for Ygrene Energy Fund
916.774.9600

Miami Attacks Hurricanes With PACE

New Building Upgrade Program Offers Miami-Area Property Owners Hurricane Protection and Energy Upgrades with Zero Upfront Costs

MIAMI - (Sep. 12, 2013)
Ygrene Energy Fund and environmental non-profit partner, Carbon War Room, today announced the launch of the Clean Energy Green Corridor program at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Ygrene Energy Center in Miami. The program launches with a $230 million bond issuance immediately available to fund hurricane protection, energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements for commercial and residential buildings.

“Property owners across South Florida can now benefit from instant access to funds to upgrade their buildings and protect their properties from major storm damage,” said Tomás Regalado, Mayor of Miami and member of the Green Corridor governing board.

Ygrene’s Clean Energy Green Corridor program is a public private partnership with the cities of Miami, Cutler Bay, Miami Shores, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Coral Gables, and South Miami that provides 100-percent financing to property owners for hurricane protection, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects using zero public money. The program uses the property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing model to allow property owners to make payments as part of annual property assessments over a 20-year term.

“Miami property owners now have a comprehensive financing solution for upgrading the hurricane resiliency and energy efficiency of their buildings. With energy bills and hurricane insurance rates at record highs, property owners can now use Ygrene Financing via the Clean Energy Green Corridor program to address both vital issues at the same time,” said Stacey Lawson, President and CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund.

Ygrene is the only multi-state PACE administrator in the country and is backed by a range of local and international financial partners, including a large revolving credit line from Macquarie Bank being used to fund PACE projects nationwide. With current operations in California, Florida and Georgia, the company recently funded the nation’s largest PACE-financed energy efficiency retrofit. In the Green Corridor, Ygrene has already pre approved more than75 applications for $18 million worth of eligible projects in the region,and recently completed construction on Florida’s first commercial and residential building upgrades of this kind. The company has also engaged with property owners on a local pipeline of over $65 million in potential building upgrades.

The economic and environmental impact potential of Clean Energy Green Corridor is substantial. With $230 million immediately available to implement energy and hurricane upgrades in Miami Dade County, an economic model developed by independent research firm ECONorthwest projects that the program can create more than 3,400 new jobs and $600 million in economic activity, as well as $25 million in local tax revenue. Ygrene also estimates it can reduce carbon emissions by 29,000 metric tons and protect up to 2,300 homes from hurricane damage.

Since 2010, the Carbon War Room, an environmental non-profit set up by Sir Richard Branson, has been working to help the sector accelerate the widespread utilization of PACE, and directly assisted in creating the Ygrene-led consortia of companies that are now implementing PACE projects in Miami as well as Sacramento.

“The major barrier preventing home owners and businesses from adopting energy efficiency and building resiliency projects is often down to the large upfront cost that many find tough to justify. I am very pleased Ygrene and the Miami Green Corridor cities have eliminated this burden to create a universally accessible financing option,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Carbon War Room and founder of the Virgin Group. “As a business owner, an entrepreneur, and homeowner, I see tremendous advantages to this program for Miami-area property owners and hopefully it will act as a catalyst for other cities to follow suit in creating similar programs.”

To support the Clean Energy Green Corridor program, Ygrene has opened a state-of-the-art Ygrene Energy Center to serve as a hub for contractor trainings, education sessions, partner meetings and property owner consultations. Interested property owners and contractors can join Clean Energy Green Corridor now by visiting the Ygrene Energy Center at 3390 Mary Street, Suite 124 in Miami, or visit CleanEnergyGreenCorridor.com.

Visual and educational assets can be found in Ygrene’s online media kit at: bit.ly/18VQWgU

About Ygrene Energy Fund

Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene’s Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

About The Carbon War Room

The world today has both the technology and the policy in place to tackle at least 50% of the climate challenge. Now, across a range of major global industries, we must break down market barriers in order to shift capital towards the low-carbon technologies and business models that will prove extremely profitable - thereby creating climate wealth.

The Carbon War Room takes a global, sector-based approach. The War Room's current Operations include: Maritime Shipping Efficiency, Green Capital, Renewable Jet Fuels, Smart Island Economies, and Trucking Efficiency. For more information go to: www.carbonwarroom.com

Coachella Valley Association of Governments Commissions PACE District

County and 10 cities of Coachella & Palo Verde Valleys partner with Ygrene Energy Fund to bring energy upgrade financing to property owners

PALM DESERT, Calif. – August 5, 2013
The Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) has officially formed a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing district in partnership with Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of clean energy finance programs for local governments. All 10 cities within CVAG and the County of Riverside have opted into the district, which will make clean energy financing available to commercial and residential property owners across the region and enable property upgrades with zero upfront costs.

With the creation of this district, local property owners will be able to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades with no upfront costs, repaid in installments via incremental property taxes. Local property owners will be able to connect with certified local contractors via Ygrene’s turnkey online hub to start projects upon program launch. According to independent research, each $100M spent under Ygrene’s programs can generate $250M in economic activity, 1,500 local jobs and $25M in local tax revenue.

“I applaud CVAG and its members for their efforts to make it simple and straightforward for any local property owner to finance building energy improvements with no upfront costs, all while revitalizing the local construction industry,” said Stacey Lawson, Ygrene CEO. “We’re very excited to get to work.”

This news comes on the heels of Ygrene's Clean Energy Sacramento announcing the financing of the largest PACE project in history—a $3.16M commercial retrofit in downtown Sacramento.

Ygrene was selected by CVAG after a competitive selection process by offering the lowest financing costs and a strong local presence. Ygrene and CVAG are now moving forward to schedule training sessions for local contractors, initiate program marketing to property owners across the regions and establish a Ygrene Energy Center to serve as a hub for informational sessions and community activities in advance of program launch.

“We are fortunate to have Ygrene as our partner in making this important program available to property owners and contractors across Coachella and Palo Verde Valleys,” said Mayor Don Adolph, CVAG Chair. “This program offers property owners across the region an opportunity to upgrade their buildings, reduce their utility bills and boost their property values without any taxpayer money.”

About Ygrene Energy Fund 
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both commercial and residential property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene’s Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

Media Contact: 
Kimberly Setliff
Antenna Group for Ygrene
415-977-1942
ygrene@antennagroup.com

Johnson Controls and Ygrene Energy Fund Sign Nation’s Largest PACE Energy Upgrade Project with Metzler Real Estate

$3.16 million energy retrofit expected to reduce annual utility costs by $140,000 with no upfront investment

SACRAMENTO – (July 30, 2013)
Johnson Controls, the global leader in delivering solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings, and Ygrene Energy Fund, the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs, will help Seattle-based Metzler Real Estate cut energy use and utility bills at Sacramento’s Metro Center Corporate Park, using financing that allows them to pay over time rather than up front and is the nation’s biggest contract of its kind.

The $3.16 million Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) project is funded through Clean Energy Sacramento. The energy efficiency upgrades will reduce Metzler’s annual utility costs by $140,000, a 27 percent decrease, and create nearly 50 local jobs during the construction phase.

“PACE is gaining momentum throughout the United States, connecting private capital with building owners to make improvements that result in substantial economic and environmental rewards,” said Chuck McGinnis, director, commercial energy solutions, Johnson Controls Building Efficiency. “Energy efficiency creates better buildings for owners, saves them money, delivers comfortable work environments for tenants, and new jobs to cities.”

To date, 30 states have PACE enabling legislation. PACE allows local governments to offer long-term, low-interest financing to property owners to implement energy efficiency upgrades. Projects are repaid through an annual assessment on a property tax bill that is linked to the property rather than the owner. Sacramento’s program, Clean Energy Sacramento administered by Ygrene Energy Fund, launched earlier this year. The program has closed $4.2M in projects over the past 90 days and has received over $10M in pre-approved applications.

“Metzler Real Estate is setting a new bar for energy efficiency and demonstrating the simplicity and economic benefit of PACE financing for large commercial projects,” said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund. “Ygrene is proud to support this landmark effort as we expand access to low-cost, low-risk capital for PACE projects across the nation.”

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has focused on transforming the area into the “Emerald Valley,” to become the greenest region in the country and hub for clean technology. His efforts have focused on efficiency in transportation and buildings. The city has committed to retrofit 12 million square feet of commercial property in President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, and has partnered with Ygrene to make $100 million of PACE funding available for property owners to make energy upgrades.

"Congratulations to Johnson Controls and Metzler Real Estate along with Ygrene Energy Fund and the city staff who worked diligently to create Clean Energy Sacramento,” said Mayor Johnson. “Our program is well on its way to becoming the most successful commercial PACE program in the country. Together we are creating local jobs, reducing emissions, and putting Sacramento on the map as a national leader in sustainability."

Metro Center, managed by Colliers International, is located at 2700-2720 Gateway Oaks Drive and comprised of four buildings, totaling approximately 250,000 square feet. Upgrades include replacement of rooftop units with high efficiency equipment and installation of a Metasys® building management system to control the mechanical equipment and interior and exterior lighting. The retrofit will enable Metro Center to register for LEED® certification, an emerging standard for large corporate tenants in California.

“The decision to retrofit Metro Center demonstrates the economics of sustainability to increase energy efficiency while reducing costs,” said Dwight McRae, managing director of Metzler Real Estate. “As a client-focused boutique firm, we amplify our portfolio’s value by concentrating on the property, the market, and the investment strategy.”

“Colliers International Real Estate Management Services has been at the forefront of Ygrene’s Clean Energy Sacramento program since its inception, and this is definitely a win-win for the landlord and the tenants”, said Dianna Berry, Property Manager for Colliers REMS, “Not only will it significantly reduce the utility costs, the cost of maintenance and labor to operate the new automated system, but it will provide the tenants with a more comfortable and controllable space, with less impact on the environment.”

About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 168,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2013, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #14 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. For additional information, please visit www.johnsoncontrols.com.

About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene’s Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

About Metzler Real Estate
Metzler Real Estate provides independent advice and tailored investment services to private and institutional clients investing in key North American real estate markets. Metzler Real Estate’s multi-discipline expertise, defined processes and clear standards ensure a disciplined, active approach to value preservation and creation. As an affiliate of the Frankfurt-based private investment bank B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. KGaA (est. 1674), clients experience the benefits of stability, personalized service, and a history of proven performance. www.metzlerna.com

Media Contacts:
Kari Pfisterer
Johnson Controls
kari.b.pfisterer@jci.com
 +1 414.524.4017

 Kimberly Setliff
Antenna for Ygrene Energy Fund
ygrene@antennagroup.com
+1 415.977.1942 

Bailey Thompson
Frause on behalf of Metzler Real Estate
bthompson@frause.com
 +1 206.352.6402

Ygrene Introduces Commission for PACE Project Referrals

Realtors, mortgage brokers, energy auditors, community members to profit from
Ygrene Referral Agent Program

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – July 23, 2013
Ygrene Energy Fund, the leading provider of property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs for local governments, today announced the launch of its Ygrene Referral Agent Program, which pays a referral fee to real estate agents, mortgage brokers, energy auditors, architects, engineers, property managers, entrepreneurs and other community members nationwide for identifying PACE project adoption across Ygrene’s Clean Energy Districts.

Ygrene Referral Agents can easily earn commission on any of the hundreds of commercial and residential property upgrades financed by Ygrene. Eligible projects include energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as hurricane protection in Florida and water conservation in California. Eligible construction projects completed within the past year in their Clean Energy Sacramento and Clean Energy Green Corridor districts are also eligible for commission through Ygrene’s refinancing opportunities.

Ygrene’s financing offers commercial and residential property owners the clear benefit of 100 percent financing, a 20 year fixed-rate term, easy qualification, zero out-of-pocket expense and many more advantages compared to property owners traditional debt financing options.

An introductory double-commission rate of one percent is available to those agents who complete project applications before October 31, 2013, and a 0.5 percent commission will be offered through the end of the year. With the company’s plan to finance more than $100M in PACE projects in the next year, the Ygrene Referral Agent Program represents more than $1M in available referral fees for the marketplace.

Through its Clean Energy Sacramento program in California, launched earlier this year, Ygrene has closed $4.2M in projects over the past 90 days and has received over $10M in pre-approved applications. The company also recently funded Florida’s first PACE projects through its Clean Energy Green Corridor program and will open its doors in Atlanta, Georgia later this year.

In addition to the vast referral agent income benefits, the Ygrene Referral Agent Program offers professionals a key service differentiator and an opportunity to strengthen their expertise in the rapidly growing sustainability sector. It also serves as yet another tangible job creation benefit from Ygrene, which works closely with local contractors to bring PACE projects to life.

Industry professionals can register as Referral Agents through a simple online process in minutes at Ygrene.us/ReferralAgent, or by visiting a local Ygrene Energy Center. No specialized training is required, though a full set of educational materials, webinars and sales tools are available. Ygrene Referral Agents are also welcome to attend Ygrene Certification training for comprehensive education on the program and benefits to property owners. Agents who register by August 31 will receive five free application vouchers, a $250 value, to offer their referred property owners.

“The Ygrene Referral Agent Program accelerates the positive impact of PACE by offering financial incentives to community stakeholders and professionals across the nation. In some instances, Referral Agents can earn upwards of $10,000 on a single project,” said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund. “We’re receiving strong interest in this unique opportunity to positively impact communities, enhance client services, and make money by doing good.”

For additional details on program eligibility and qualifying projects, please visit Ygrene.us/ReferralAgent

About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both commercial and residential property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene’s Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

Media Contact: 
Kimberly Setliff
Antenna Group for Ygrene
415-977-1942
ygrene@antennagroup.com

Ygrene Commits to 10 New Clean Energy Districts by 2015 at CGI America

CHICAGO, June 14, 2013
Ygrene Energy Fund, the leading provider of property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs for local governments, today committed as part of the Clinton Global Initiative to accelerate nationwide PACE adoption by establishing 10 new Clean Energy Districts by the summer of 2015. This $10 million endeavor represents a very tangible example of the near term "Commitments to Action" made by the companies and NGOs participating in the CGI America event.

"This commitment is just the tip of the iceberg for Ygrene on its mission to fund energy retrofits and stimulate local economies from coast to coast," said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene, who will participate in the Residential Energy Efficiency: Accelerating Energy Conservation in America's Homes at the CGI America event. "We thank the Clinton Global Initiative for providing this invaluable public forum, and for its dedication to transforming communities through public/private collaboration."

Ygrene's programs open access to low-risk capital for commercial and residential property owners to upgrade their facilities without high upfront costs. These PACE-financed energy retrofits are repaid through annual property assessments over a period of up to 20 years.

The Ygrene team works closely with elected officials to establish each Clean Energy District and trains local contractors to manage the projects, ensuring lasting economic development. The company also opens a brick-and-mortar Energy Center in each district to serve as an educational hub for those interested in learning more about energy conservation.

Today's news comes on the heels of Ygrene unveiling Florida's first-ever PACE-funded projects. The company is also working with municipalities in states like California and Georgia to expand the benefits of PACE to property owners in new territories. ECONorthwest estimates that for every $100 million invested in these upgrades, PACE creates 1,500 new jobs, $250 million in economic stimulus and $25 million in tax revenue, while reducing carbon emissions by 12,000 metric tons.

About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide immediately accessible financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, water conservation and weather resiliency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene's Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

About CGI America
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 211 commitments valued at $13.6 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.

CONTACT: Kimberly Setliff, Antenna Group for Ygrene, 415-977-1942, ygrene@antennagroup.com

Ygrene Funds Florida's First PACE Projects

Company paves way for statewide program adoption, job creation and property improvements

TAMPA, Fla., June 10, 2013
Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, the leading provider of property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs for local governments in Florida, today announced it has funded the first PACE projects in the state. This is a major milestone for Florida and signifies a new era of property improvement and job creation opportunities for cities and counties across the state.

The Ygrene program provides residential and commercial property owners with access to low-cost, low-risk capital to implement building upgrades, including hurricane protection, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Whereas traditional retrofits can burden property owners with high upfront costs and financial risks, Ygrene's PACE-financed upgrades are non-recourse financing repaid via annual property assessments over a 20-year term.

In Miami, the Ygrene program has funded its first hurricane resiliency project on a commercial property owned by urban development company Barlington Group, which worked with New Holland PACE Consulting, Inc. on the project. A second project is approved and underway. Both properties will receive hurricane resiliency upgrades--including impact-resistant and energy efficient storefronts, windows, and doors--expected to reduce the building owners' hurricane insurance and energy costs while simultaneously improving the value of each property. These projects total more than $210,000, part of Ygrene's growing pipeline of over $40 million in PACE-related projects in the region.

"Ygrene's comprehensive PACE program offered us the unique opportunity to enhance our properties without diverting resources away from core operations," said Martin Pinilla, founder of Barlington Group. "We've been consistently impressed with Ygrene's Florida team, including their work to connect us with nearby contractors to ensure our upgrades are not only being completed by trained professionals, but also creating local jobs in the process."

"This is a breakthrough event for the state of Florida and the nation--one that demonstrates the path toward economic revitalization and reduced energy consumption," said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene. "Florida governments and property owners will see immediate and lasting results through the PACE program, and Ygrene is the first administrator in the state to demonstrate the viability of this model."

Ygrene has multiple programs under development across Florida. The company's first Southeast Florida program, Clean Energy Green Corridor, is a partnership with the cities of Miami, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Miami Shores, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and South Miami. For the Green Corridor program, Ygrene has already trained and certified more than 200 local contractors to administer upgrades and provide job opportunities throughout the region. For more information, please visit CleanEnergyGreenCorridor.com.

Additional municipalities are evaluating Ygrene's PACE programs. Three more cities in Miami-Dade County have now partnered with Ygrene to begin establishing two new PACE districts, and most recently, Leon and Lee counties ranked Ygrene as the number one firm in each county's competitive process to select a PACE program administrator.

"With all the promises of PACE over the past few years, it's exciting to see the first projects come to life," said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. "The PACE program has the potential to address three critical needs in our state: hurricane protection, job creation and rising energy costs. The doors are finally opening on this huge opportunity, and I commend Ygrene and the cities involved in this endeavor for their commitment and vision to enact meaningful change in our communities."

About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for wind hardening, renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene's Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

CONTACT: Kimberly Setliff, Antenna Group for Ygrene, 415-977-1942, ygrene@antennagroup.com, or Joe Spector, VP of Operations, Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, Joseph.spector@ygrene.us

Ygrene Energy Fund and Lykes Bros. Subsidiary EcoAsset Energy Solutions Enter Joint Venture to Support Accelerated PACE Program Adoption Across Florida

Partnership unlocks statewide access to Ygrene property upgrade program

TAMPA BAY, Fla., May 30, 2013
Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, a leading provider of commercial and residential property upgrade programs for Floridian governments, today announced that it has formed a strategic joint venture with EcoAsset Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Lykes Bros. Inc., a 100-year old local, family-owned company and the largest private landowner in Florida. Building upon an initial co-marketing agreement in 2010, this expanded investment will support the increased development of new Ygrene-administered Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs across the state.

"We see increasing momentum throughout Florida to implement PACE districts, and our new joint venture with EcoAsset Energy Solutions enables Ygrene to bolster local resources and operations to meet this rising demand," said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund. "Together, we look forward to fostering a lasting legacy across the state."

Ygrene's fully-funded Clean Energy Programs enable regional governments to efficiently tap the PACE financing model without using taxpayer funds to launch and run the program. PACE gives property owners a new, more cost-effective way to finance hurricane protection, energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects. While traditional financing for these types of improvements is difficult to secure, Ygrene's PACE-financed upgrades overcome this hurdle by repaying through annual property taxes over a period of up to 20 years.

Ygrene Energy Fund works with local governments to administer PACE districts across the country, and has been working with EcoAsset Energy Solutions and Lykes Bros. Inc. since 2010 to partner with local governments in creating their own localized PACE programs. This expanded partnership provides increased resources to meet those goals.

"The Ygrene model has been carefully designed and implemented to offer local governments in Florida the solution they are looking for; given our track record of success, this model is clearly working," said John Wakefield, Director of Program Development for Ygrene Energy Fund Florida and Vice President of Corporate Business Development for Lykes Bros. who leads outreach efforts throughout the state.

"More than 40 local governments have expressed interest in working with Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, and we are actively forming programs with 21 cities and four counties," continued Wakefield. "The overwhelming message is that local officials want a localized program they can control, but that is also zero-risk and zero cost to the local government. Ygrene is the only company in the state offering this approach."

At the core of Ygrene's programs is a localized approach to PACE development. The Ygrene Energy Fund Florida team focuses on building a partnership with each municipality to better understand each region's unique needs and provide local implementation. The company also establishes a brick-and-mortar Energy Center to serve as a meeting place for community members to learn more about the benefits of PACE financing and showcase the technologies and building materials available to help property owners upgrade their properties. For more information, please visit CleanEnergyGreenCorridor.com.

"Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all attitude toward PACE deployment, we design and implement a tailored program that will spur sustained regional growth while empowering property owners to take a more active role in their building improvement and energy decisions," said Joe Spector, Vice President of Operations for Ygrene Energy Fund Florida. "The combination of our local presence and unparalleled expertise is what regularly sets Ygrene apart from the pack."

Also unique to the Ygrene PACE program is the company's work with local contractors. Ygrene ensures that local staff are able to convert the PACE program into profitable jobs by properly training and equipping contractors to efficiently connect with property owners and bring PACE projects to life. In Southeast Florida alone, Ygrene currently manages a network of more than 200 certified contractors.

"What attracted us to Ygrene is the company's commitment to enhancing communities through economic development—a pillar of the Lykes Bros. business for six generations," said Michael L. Carrere, CEO of Lykes Bros. Inc. "We have a strong commitment to this partnership to not only achieve our own corporate sustainability goals, but also to champion the sweeping benefits of PACE to commercial and residential property owners across Florida."

About Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc.
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for wind hardening, renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene's Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

About Lykes Bros. Inc.
Lykes Bros. Inc. is a longstanding Florida family business that has been in business for over 100 years. Lykes Bros. has large agricultural operations that span 340,000 acres of contiguous land in Florida's heartland. Additionally, Lykes Bros. has a very successful track record in other businesses ranging from financial services, natural gas distribution and food and beverage processing.

Ygrene Energy Fund Expands Executive Team

Company welcomes CFO, SVP to accelerate growth across key regions nationwide

SANTA ROSA, Calif., May 15, 2013
Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of commercial and residential energy upgrade programs for local governments, today announced the addition of two members to its senior leadership team. Joining the company are John Hudson as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Jason Mittelstaedt as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategy.

Through Ygrene's turnkey Clean Energy Programs, municipalities can efficiently tap the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing model and enable property owners to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and building resiliency projects with no upfront costs. These upgrades are repaid through annual property taxes, rather than as a traditional personal or business loan. In their new roles, Hudson and Mittelstaedt will support efforts to expand Ygrene's reach across the U.S.

CFO John Hudson has over 20 years of experience working in investment banking and corporate finance. Prior to joining Ygrene, John served as the CFO for a multi-billion dollar holding company, which held varied assets ranging from hospitality to structured debt products. He previously held senior financial leadership roles at Symbol Technologies and Sun Microsystems in which he was responsible for portfolio management, treasury, and capital advisory functions. Earlier in his career, Hudson was with Merrill Lynch in both the Investment Banking and Private Client Groups with responsibilities ranging from fragmenting and consolidating debt positions for internal and external clients to architecting insurance products. He also founded Preservation Capital Partners, a commercial financing and direct investment firm, and holds a B.S. in Economics, a B.S. in Finance, and an M.S.M. in Finance from the Krannert School at Purdue University.

As the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, Jason Mittelstaedt will draw upon his experience building and scaling high growth businesses to capitalize on Ygrene's rapidly expanding market opportunity and revenue acceleration. Prior to joining Ygrene, Mittelstaedt was SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at RightNow Technologies, the leading provider of cloud-based customer experience management solutions acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2012. During his 12-year tenure with RightNow, Mittelstaedt led global marketing, strategic planning, branding, communications and product management. Prior to RightNow, Mittelstaedt held strategic planning, marketing and engineering positions for Intel Corporation and several earlier stage growth-oriented businesses. Mittelstaedt holds a B.S. in Engineering Physics and completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.

"Ygrene's growth is rapidly accelerating in our clean energy districts across the nation, and putting the right leadership structure in place is critical to our next phase of development," said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund. "John Hudson and Jason Mittelstaedt bring deep experience growing global businesses across a broad range of industry sectors. Together we look forward to building even greater momentum and empowering municipalities to stimulate their local economies while reducing carbon emissions."

About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the U.S. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene's Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs, invest hundreds of millions into local economies and drive massive reductions in greenhouse gasses. Learn more at ygrene.us.

Sacramento County Commissions PACE District

Program with Ygrene Energy Fund opens new energy upgrade financing option countywide

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 28, 2013

On Tuesday, March 26, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors officially formed a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing district within the unincorporated County, finalizing a process set in motion late last year. The County has partnered with Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of clean energy finance programs for local governments, to create new facility upgrade opportunities for property owners countywide.

By creating this district, the County enables property owners to finance energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy upgrades with no capital outlay. Instead, the investment is repaid in smaller, more manageable increments through future property tax bills. Through Ygrene's program, property owners can efficiently connect with more than 180 Ygrene certified local contractors to bring projects to life.

Additionally, the ruling offers six incorporated cities in the greater Sacramento area—Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, and Rancho Cordova—the opportunity to opt into this program.

"We commend Sacramento County for its work to unlock the financial and environmental benefits of energy and water infrastructure upgrades for the thousands of commercial buildings across the region," said Stacey Lawson , Ygrene CEO. "With the support of Ygrene, the County can now offer its property owners a simple and easy option to finance their home energy improvements at no up front cost, and without any taxpayer money. We're very excited about this partnership."

This news comes on the heels of Ygrene's Clean Energy Sacramento program in the City of Sacramento, which went live in January. Sacramento County property owners and contractors can learn more at CleanEnergySacramento.com.

"This decision is a true win-win for Sacramento County. For every $100 million invested in these upgrades, we project the creation of 1,500 new jobs and $250 million in economic stimulus—all without placing any financial burden on the county's general fund," said Phil Serna , Sacramento County Supervisor. "We look forward to working with the Ygrene team to increase local property values and generate significant utility bill savings for our residents."

About Ygrene Energy Fund

Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the U.S. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene's Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs, invest hundreds of millions into local economies and drive massive reductions in greenhouse gasses. Learn more at ygrene.us and CleanEnergySacramento.com.

For Sacramento, Energy Upgrades With No Upfront Costs

Sacramento has announced a new program to help finance energy-saving upgrades for buildings like adding insulation, replacing old windows, installing high-efficiency heating and cooling systems or adding rooftop solar panels.

Owners of homes or commercial buildings will incur no upfront costs for taking part in the program, Clean Energy Sacramento, but will gradually pay back the financing in installments on their property tax bills. The city’s program will be one of the largest in the country based on this approach, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, financing, said Stacey Lawson, the chief executive of the company that will manage the program for the city, Ygrene Energy Fund.

Sacramento has set a goal to reduce its energy use by 15 percent by 2020. The program will open with $22 million already committed to upgrades, Ms. Lawson said in a telephone interview.

It will also be the first program to operate under a state legislative measure that expanded the guidelines for regulating PACE programs and should help resolve some of the snags that have troubled other such efforts, she said.

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Sacramento Launches $100-Million Energy Retrofit Fund

Sacramento commercial and residential property owners can now install energy-saving equipment at no upfront cost. Yesterday, local political leaders, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, announced the launch of Clean Energy Sacramento, a property assessed clean energy (PACE) program operated by Ygrene Energy Fund.

With PACE financing, the property owner agrees to repay the cost of improvements such as a more efficient chiller or rooftop solar panels through an annual property tax assessment lasting up to 20 years. If a building is sold or transferred, the PACE lien remains tied to the property. As I’ve written before at this blog, perhaps the strongest selling point of PACE financing is that it enables property owners to avoid the upfront cost to install new equipment, one of the thorniest problems of energy efficiency project development.

Years in the making, Clean Energy Sacramento launched with the support of the City of Sacramento. City leaders, eager to free the economy from an over-reliance on state government and new home construction, had been looking for ways to create jobs and meet the city’s environmental goals without making new demands on a lean city budget.

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Sacramento Energy Efficiency Effort

Sacramento officials have launched a $100 million effort to upgrade the energy efficiency of the city's homes and commercial buildings - at no up-front cost to property owners.

The Clean Energy Sacramento program, which began Wednesday, was developed with a Santa Rosa startup company. It lets building owners pay for upgrades over the course of up to 20 years through a line item added to their property taxes.

They can use the financing to add new, efficient lighting and air conditioning. Or they can install solar panels, immediately lowering their electric bills while paying for the equipment bit by bit.

Ygrene Energy Fund, which created the program for the city, will line up financing for each project and certify the contractors who install the equipment. City officials hope the effort will create 1,500 jobs and help Sacramento reach its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2020.

"Not only are we making Sacramento a cleaner and healthier place to live, we're also putting Sacramento's hard-hit construction business back to work and revitalizing our economy at zero cost to taxpayers," said Mayor Kevin Johnson.

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Clean Energy Sacramento upgrade, retrofit program launches

Clean Energy Sacramento, a private-public energy retrofit financing program created by a partnership of Ygrene Energy Fund and the city of Sacramento, has launched.

Clean Energy Sacramento is the first privately funded clean energy financing program for residential and commercial buildings, and uses no public money, according to a news release. Property owners can use financing for energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy or water conservation, with no out-of-pocket costs, as the program uses property taxes for 20 years.

At its launch, the program already has $22 million in prequalified projects, involving 150 local contractors. One project ready to go is an upgraded chiller at 520 Capitol Mall. The $513,000 project is expected to cut costs by $47,000 per year for 25 years, according to a news release. It will also help increase the property value.

Clean Energy Sacramento is projected to support 1,500 jobs for every $100 million invested, help property values and push the region to the goal of reducing energy use by 15 percent by 2020.

"Launching Clean Energy Sacramento is a major milestone in establishing this city as a national leader in the green economy," Mayor Kevin Johnson said in a news release. "Not only are we making Sacramento a cleaner and healthier place to live, we're also putting Sacramento's hard-hit construction business back to work and revitalizing our economy at zero cost to taxpayers.”

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Ygrene Energy Fund and City of Sacramento Launch Clean Energy Sacramento

Nation's first privately funded energy financing program for both residential and commercial buildings begins funding projects, boosting local economy, job market and property values

SACRAMENTO, California - Jan. 30, 2013

The City of Sacramento and Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of clean energy finance programs for local governments, today announced the launch of Clean Energy Sacramento, a pioneering public-private partnership which provides funding to local property owners for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades at no up-front cost. Clean Energy Sacramento is the first privately funded clean energy financing model in the nation for both commercial and residential buildings, providing 100 percent private funding for energy retrofits with no public money. Clean Energy Sacramento is projected to create thousands of jobs, boost property values and help achieve Sacramento's goal of reducing energy use 15% by 2020.

Both commercial and residential properties have been approved for immediate funding under the program, including a spotlight project to upgrade to a more efficient chiller at 520 Capitol Mall, located in the most prominent downtown office corridor in the City. The $513,000 project will be installed by Airco Mechanical, a certified Ygrene contractor, and is projected to reduce costs by $47,000 a year for 25 years, while improving the property value in excess of the project cost.

"Launching Clean Energy Sacramento is a major milestone in establishing this city as a national leader in the green economy," said Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento. "Not only are we making Sacramento a cleaner and healthier place to live, we're also putting Sacramento's hard-hit construction business back to work and revitalizing our economy at zero cost to taxpayers. Clean Energy Sacramento is a win for the city in every way, and I encourage all property owners to join this innovative program as we transform the Sacramento region into the Emerald Valley."

Clean Energy Sacramento launches with $22M of prequalified projects in the pipeline, with more than 150 trained local contractors ready to begin work across the City. According to independent research conducted by ECONorthwest, every $100M invested via Clean Energy Sacramento is projected to create 1,500 jobs, $250M in economic activity and $25M in tax revenue. Interested property owners and contractors can apply for funding and sign up for training now at cleanenergysacramento.com.

"Innovative programs like Clean Energy Sacramento are essential to continue creating jobs and improving property values as our economy recovers," said Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA). "I applaud Sacramento on launching this impressive program, and will continue working to help more municipalities nationwide follow Sacramento's example."

Under Clean Energy Sacramento, property owners repay capital costs for clean energy upgrades and retrofits via property taxes over a period of up to 20 years. The unique property tax payback mechanism makes it possible for both the efficiency savings and investment to transfer with the property upon a sale, a significant benefit for property owners. All commercial properties are projected to deliver financial benefits that exceed additional property taxes, delivering a reliable return for property owners.

Ygrene also announced the grand opening of its Ygrene Energy Center, Sacramento at 2600 Capitol Avenue to serve as a community hub for the program. The Ygrene Energy Center, Sacramento will host contractor trainings, energy efficiency workshops and partner meetings, as well as provide information on cutting-edge green products and hold consultations about participating in Clean Energy Sacramento. To view upcoming events and learn more about the program, visit cleanenergysacramento.com.

"We are thrilled to open the doors of our Energy Center and start funding projects immediately," said Stacey Lawson , CEO of Ygrene. "At a time when owners are seeking to improve the comfort and efficiency of their properties, and cities are searching for ways to kickstart their economies and reduce energy consumption, Clean Energy Sacramento offers tremendous opportunity. We look forward to working closely with the city and our partners to make Sacramento a national leader in energy efficiency."

Ygrene is bringing its privately funded model to other states across the nation later this year, establishing the Clean Energy Green Corridor in Miami-Dade County, FL and Clean Energy Atlanta in Georgia.

About Ygrene Energy Fund

Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the U.S. Ygrene's fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both residential and commercial property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene's Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs, invest hundreds of millions into local economies and drive massive reductions in greenhouse gasses. Learn more at ygrene.us and cleanenergysacramento.com.

Mendocino County: PACE Gets Another Look

Property owners interested in getting financing for energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to their homes or commercial properties may get some help from the County of Mendocino.

The board of supervisors will hear another presentation on a potential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program next Tuesday morning, this time from Ygrene Energy Fund, a PACE operator based in Santa Rosa. The item is tentatively set to be heard at 9:30 a.m.

A PACE program finances "green" improvements--with private funding--at no upfront cost to the property owner. These loans are paid back over time with a property tax assessment that is passed along to a new owner if the property is sold. Proponents say there are "zero costs" to any city or county that starts up a PACE program.

The board voted 3-2 in December--Supervisor John Pinches and Supervisor Carre Brown dissenting--to invite a PACE operator to explain the benefits of a PACE program and to answer questions and concerns about the county's potential involvement.

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Clean Energy Atlanta Program to Offer Up to $200M for Building Retrofits

Ygrene Energy Fund, a provider of clean energy finance projects, has announced that Invest Atlanta, the economic development authority of Atlanta, voted to release $200 million of energy retfrofit funds via the Clean Energy Atlanta program.

These funds will be available to both multi-family residential building owners and commercial ones as well.

The program is expected to create up to 3,000 jobs.

“Now is the time to implement intelligent programs that offer both economic and environmental benefits immediately,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said. “Clean Energy Atlanta paves the way to finance and implement extensive energy savings while adding value to Atlanta property and creating thousands of local jobs. We are ready to get started right away.”

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Atlanta to be first major test of state program to spread cost ofeco-friendly rehabs of downtown buildings

Atlanta intends to use a fledgling state-authorized financing program to help property owners pay for upgrades to energy and water systems in commercial buildings in downtown Atlanta.

Atlanta is establishing a financing system to help property owners pay to upgrade energy and water systems in downtown commercial properties.

A partner in Atlanta’s new energy effort is Ben Taube, formerly the executive director of Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance. Taube now serves as president of BLT Sustainable Energy Inc., which on June 28 helped organize the company that on Oct. 18 got the city’s green light for a deal – Ygrene Energy Fund, which is affiliated with a California-based company of the same name.

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Programs help property owners with efficiency

Property owners in Sacramento County and other parts of the capital region now have more access to programs that cut energy bills through programs announced Tuesday in Sacramento.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to create a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing district within the unincorporated portion of the county using a program set up by Ygrene. The district will enable property owners to fund energy and water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades without up-front cost through their property tax bills – and is the second PACE-type program offered in the city and county. The other is through CaliforniaFIRST, which also includes Yolo County.

Ygrene already has signed up the city of Sacramento and Sacramento County, and is reaching out to others in Northern California, said John Kaufman, regional director of Ygrene Energy Fund. County officials said other cities within the county can easily join the program and capitalize on Ygrene’s easy format and funding from local banks.

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If building owners retrofit downtown Atlanta buildings, will tenantsfollow?

If you retrofit it, they will come. At least that’s what city officials are hoping.

Atlanta’s economic development agency is betting that making downtown’s buildings more energy efficient will help it attract new businesses, an effort that involves millions in public cash and hundreds of millions in private investment.

Invest Atlanta’s board on Thursday signed off on a plan to create a pool of at least $200 million in private funds that would be used to retrofit the aging stock of buildings downtown. It comes months after the agency voted to use up to $8 million in property tax funds to help downtown building owners upgrade their properties.

The move, which must still be approved by Atlanta’s City Council, would allow building owners to voluntarily pay the city extra property taxes. That money would be pooled in a fund administered by Ygrene, a California-based firm that specializes in this business.

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Is San Diego Losing Pace on Clean Energy?

In July, the San Diego County assessor announced that assessed property values fell by $568 million from last year. As a result, the county has issued tax refunds totaling $10.6 million, hurting our schools, impacting public jobs and undercutting public programs — which are needed now more than ever.

As president and CEO of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, I’ve worked with San Diego’s business community for more than 20 years. While today’s economic climate is challenging, I see a golden opportunity for the private sector to invest in improving property values and jobs for all San Diegans through clean energy.

The San Diego region has begun to embrace financing programs called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) that can kickstart the economy through clean energy upgrades. Here’s how the programs work: commercial and residential property owners apply for financing to perform upgrades, anything from installing solar panels to upgrading to less power-hungry air conditioners. Owners pay back the funds through an increment to their property taxes, which can be easily passed to the next owner if the property is sold. Energy bill savings start immediately, and in almost all cases they’re guaranteed to exceed the cost of the investment. The most effective models, such as the program operated by Ygrene Energy Fund, are funded privately, without a dime of public money.

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Town of Cutler Bay Receives Florida League of Cities EnvironmentalStewardship Award

Recognizes government for leadership in establishing clean energy upgrade program

CUTLER BAY, FL - August 29, 2012

Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, a provider of energy upgrade programs for local governments throughout the state, today applauds the Town of Cutler Bay for receiving the Florida League of Cities Environmental Stewardship Award as part of the 2012 Florida Municipal Achievement Awards. The award recognizes Cutler Bay's leadership in supporting economic development, while advancing the region's clean energy goals, through its partnership with Ygrene Energy Fund and six other Miami-Dade County communities to establish the Clean Energy Green Corridor PACE district.

"We are honored to receive this prestigious award, and are looking forward to seeing the lasting positive impacts as we work with building owners, contractors and other stakeholders to reach our clean energy goals," said Edward MacDougall, Mayor of Cutler Bay. "In the spirit of building America, cities must continue leading the way toward economic recovery and energy independence."

The Clean Energy Green Corridor streamlines financing, administration and implementation of renewable energy, energy efficiency and hurricane protection building improvement projects. The groundbreaking program provides commercial and residential property owners with private funding for energy upgrades at no installation cost, repaid through annual property tax assessments. The benefits are enormous: the program is projected to provide economic stimulus of $750 million, create 4,500 jobs that can't be outsourced and reduce emissions of more than 35,000 metric tons of CO2 for the South Florida region.

"This award acknowledges that Cutler Bay and the other cities of the Green Corridor are leading the way in creating sustainable and long-lasting solutions that will create jobs, stimulate the economy, and help move our nation toward energy independence," said Joe Spector, director of operations for Ygrene Energy Fund Florida. "We are excited to be working with local governments and property owners across South Florida to help to improve their communities' environments while improving local property values and reducing energy costs."

About Ygrene Energy Fund Florida:

Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, headquartered in Tampa, is the leading developer and administrator of energy efficiency retrofit financing programs throughout the state. In partnership with local municipalities, Ygrene has unlocked $550 million of private funding for affordable, immediately accessible financing for commercial and residential energy upgrades and wind hardening at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene-funded renewable energy and efficiency projects are projected to bring more than 8,250 stable jobs and $1.375 billion in economic activity to Florida and nationwide. Learn more at ygrene.us and flgreencorridor.com.

Court Victory Boosts Prospects For Residential Clean Energy PACEPrograms

Supporters of an innovative clean energy financing scheme welcomed a favorable court ruling earlier this month. On August 9, a federal district court judge in California ruled (PDF) that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) violated federal law when it decided, without public notice or opportunity for stakeholders to comment, in July 2010, not to underwrite mortgages on homes with property assessed clean energy (PACE) loans.

As I wrote in January, FHFA was concerned that in most states with PACE programs the liens resulting from the PACE loans have priority over mortgages – the PACE lender would be paid ahead of the bank, or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, in the case of foreclosure.

PACE watcher Ethan Elkind, who holds a joint appointment at the UCLA and UC Berkeley law schools, called the ruling a “decisive win” for the plaintiffs, which includes the California Attorney General’s Office. “With this decision,” Elkind wrote at the Legal Planet blog, “the FHFA PACE policy is officially toast until the agency can develop a final rule pending the outcome of an ongoing rulemaking process.”

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The Retrofit Boom: Saving Costs and the Planet, One Building at a Time

The liberal mantra, “go green” is finding its mainstream voice. Nowhere is this more evident than in our nation’s urban areas. Easing the pollution of our congested areas, investing in our nation’s future by recycling its’ past, in short, going green, while giving city’s a facelift, it’s all part of a new trend.

Another big investor in the retrofitting boom includes, the loan program PACE, (Property Assessed Clean Energy) initiated by British billionaire mogul, Richard Branson and overseen by Ygrene (energy backwards,) a specialist in providing turnkey programs for property owners, commercial, or private, who demonstrate an interest in retrofitting for the sake of sustainable energy and greater efficiency. Branson’s ebullient belief in the plan was expressed when he noted; “it will unlock a trillion dollar market for green retrofits.”

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War on Carbon Emissions

He is a pitchman for a profit-driven solution to the world’s climate-change conundrum.

José María Figueres is the president and public face of the Carbon War Room, an international think tank devoted to helping entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial models achieve “gigaton-level” carbon emission reductions.

Economies of scale, he says, can be found overhead in the market for aviation fuel, on the high seas by simply painting the world’s cargo ship fleet, or in the Caribbean islands where the War Room is helping Aruba and other island nations adopt renewable energy over costly fossil fuel imports.

"There is an issue of scale which is important here if we are to conserve temperatures on the planet,” he told an audience in San Diego last month.

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A PACE Rebirth? Sacramento and Ygrene Try to Unlock Green Homes

Can a new approach to PACE home solar/efficiency finance overcome big regulatory roadblocks? Sacramento and Ygrene are trying it out.

Property assessed clean energy, or PACE, financing -- paying for home solar installations, energy efficiency retrofits and other green improvements through property taxes -- was all the rage a few years ago.

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Ygrene Applauds the City of San Diego's Commitment to Clean Energy

Sold-out event welcoming local business leaders highlights widespread support for clean energy investment and job creation

SAN DIEGO, July 5, 2012

Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of clean energy finance programs for local governments, applauds the City of San Diego for its forward-thinking commitment to advancing clean energy throughout the community. San Diego now has the opportunity to unlock millions in financing for commercial energy upgrades at no up-front cost to further expand the City's sustainability leadership throughout the state and nation.

On June 28, Ygrene sponsored a public event called "Clean Energy San Diego: Global Vision, Local Impact" with CleanTECH and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce to welcome former president of Costa Rica and current president of global nonprofit the Carbon War Room Jose Maria Figueres. The sold-out event brought together more than 200 local business and clean technology leaders, 40 local elected leaders and staffers - including representatives of Cleantech San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, Honeywell, Swinerton Builders, Fidelity National Title and more - to discuss global market-driven strategies aimed at creating thousands of local jobs and injecting millions of dollars into San Diego's economy.

"The Ygrene PACE model is one in which we at the Carbon War Room firmly believe," said Figueres. "It has advantages because it is fully funded by private capital and it has no risk and no cost to local governments."

Ygrene brings together local governments, building owners, contractors and financial institutions to facilitate building energy retrofits in California and nationwide. Ygrene leads the PACE Commercial Consortium, which helps San Diego commercial property owners tap into hundreds of millions of private funds to perform retrofits guaranteed to save them money while extending San Diego's national cleantech leadership. For every $100 million invested in upgrades, the city expects 1,500 new jobs and $250 million in economic stimulus.

"San Diego is a leader in the state - and the nation - in implementing public policy tools that promote the health of our community," said Ygrene President Dan Schaefer. "San Diego's commitment to clean energy opens up tremendous opportunities to jumpstart economic growth and enhances its position as one of the most sustainable cities in America."

About Ygrene Energy Fund

Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy finance programs throughout the US. In partnership with the Pace Commercial Consortium, Ygrene has unlocked $650 million of private funding for affordable, immediately accessible financing for commercial and residential energy upgrades at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene-funded renewable energy and efficiency programs are projected to bring tens of thousands local jobs, millions invested in local businesses, and massive reductions in greenhouse gases.

Green for Green

Alternative financing for sustainable development

Developers looking to build in the Capital Region are finding cash in emerging green-financing products. Some reward energy-efficiency upgrades, and others leverage public-private partnerships. Opportunities for these types of programs are increasing, yet the market struggles to assess consistently the opportunities sustainable construction provides.

But change is coming, and the Sacramento region is at the forefront. To start, yGrene Energy Fund Inc., a company offering unlimited, private financing to develop clean-energy districts in cities across the country, announced last year the development of Clean Energy Sacramento, a pilot community that would coordinate private investment in energy-efficient retrofits to existing properties. Barclays bank has invested $650 million in the nationwide endeavor.

But even with this type of burgeoning momentum for new financing strategies, “There’s a real disconnect” in the market, says Michele Skupic, vice president and national director of sustainability at Fidelity National Financial Inc./FNF Green. “There’s amazing resistance for (energy) improvements, a lack of empirical energy data and so many different shades of green for energy efficiencies that the financial market is having a tough time valuing green projects correctly.”

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Clean Energy Sacramento Expands to All Property Types

Program is first in state to extend energy upgrade financing to publicly owned buildings and new construction; $20M in commercial projects on tap

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 28, 2012

Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of clean energy finance programs for local governments, today announced expanded building eligibility and financing terms under Ygrene's Clean Energy Sacramento program to all property types. A notable achievement that will further advance the region's economic and clean energy goals, Sacramento City Council's vote is the first in the state to adopt Senate Bill 555 and connect owners of new construction and publicly owned buildings, in both residential and commercial properties, to more than $100 million for energy building improvements.

Clean Energy Sacramento provides financing for property owners for energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy upgrades at no up-front cost, repaid through property taxes.Tuesday's legislative expansion also allows residential and commercial property owners to refinance existing improvements, as well as take advantage of more flexible financing terms, which mean lower payments with lower interest rates.

"Sacramento is teeming with interest in our program," remarked Dan Schaefer, Ygrene president. "More than 275 contractors have signed up for Clean Energy Sacramento, and we've already seen more than $20 million in commercial projects lined up for our Fall 2012 launch. Thanks to this expansion – especially now that residential buildings are eligible -- we expect those numbers to rise considerably."

Additional construction activity generated by Clean Energy Sacramento's expansion will drive greater citywide adoption of clean energy upgrades, and will be a major boon for Sacramento's economy. For every $100 million invested in upgrades, the city expects 1,500 new jobs and $250 million in economic stimulus.

"After a tough run the past few years, this program will be an instant job creator for contractors," said Scott Whyte, political director for Region Builders. "Clean Energy Sacramento is one of the most exciting economic development programs to ever come to our region. Expanding the scope of clean energy retrofits for Sacramento construction will generate even more job opportunities for our members."

About Ygrene Energy Fund Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy finance programs throughout the US. In partnership with the Pace Commercial Consortium, Ygrene has unlocked $550 million of private funding for affordable, immediately accessible financing for commercial and residential energy upgrades at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene-funded renewable energy and efficiency programs are projected to bring tens of thousands local jobs, millions invested in local businesses, and massive reductions in greenhouse gasses.

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Clean Energy San Diego Welcomes Former Costa Rican President Jose MariaFigueres

Clean Energy San Diego Welcomes Former Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres

Carbon War Room president to highlight top global strategies for local economic growth and job creation

Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of clean energy finance programs for local governments, tomorrow welcomes former president of Costa Rica and current president of global nonprofit the Carbon War Room Jose Maria Figueres to its Clean Energy San Diego event at San Diego's Westin Gaslamp Quarter. Together with local businesses and community leaders, Figueres will share leading market-driven strategies from around the world that will create thousands of local jobs and inject millions of dollars into San Diego's economy.

A partner of the Carbon War Room, Ygrene brings together local governments, building owners, contractors and financial institutions to facilitate building energy retrofits in California and nationwide through a mechanism that President Obama has argued is "one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways" to save money and reduce pollution. The impacts are tremendous: every $100 million spent on energy upgrades in San Diego is projected to create 1,500 jobs, generate $250 million in economic stimulus and drive $25 million in local tax revenue.

Following opening remarks, Figueres will be joined by local leaders representing the vision of San Diego's clean energy initiatives, including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Green Building Council and Cleantech San Diego. The event is open to the public and tickets are available for purchase via Clean Energy San Diego at: http://cwrbreakfast2012.eventbrite.com

Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy finance programs throughout the US. In partnership with the PACE Commercial Consortium, Ygrene has unlocked $550 million of private funding for affordable, immediately accessible financing for commercial and residential energy upgrades at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene-funded renewable energy and efficiency programs are projected to bring tens of thousands local jobs, millions invested in local businesses, and massive reductions in greenhouse gases.

About the Carbon War Room

The Carbon War Room harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to unlock gigaton-scale, market-driven solutions to climate change. Over 50% of the climate change challenge can be addressed today -- and profitably -- under existing policy and technology conditions. We seek to facilitate a better flow of capital to entrepreneurial solutions that make economic sense right now.

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Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson on Clean Energy Sacramento

Who is writing these articles?

Warnings Resound as World Leaders Gather at Rio+20

RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil, June 20, 2012 (ENS)

More than 100 heads of state and government today gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the start of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The summit seeks to shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection in the face of warnings that the ecological basis of life is coming undone.

"We are now in sight of a historic agreement," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his address to Rio+20's opening session this morning. "Let us not waste this opportunity. The world is watching to see if words will translate into action, as we know they must."

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Ygrene Welcomes City of Coral Gables to Green Corridor District

City is most recent South Florida community to sign on with groundbreaking energy upgrade program

CORAL GABLES, Fla., June 8, 2012

Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, a provider of energy retrofit programs for local governments throughout the state, today welcomed the City of Coral Gables to South Florida's Green Corridor PACE District. The unanimous vote makes Coral Gables the most recent of seven communities in Miami-Dade County, including the City of Miami, to become part of the groundbreaking Green Corridor District and tap into more than $550 million of private capital funding for commercial building energy upgrades and wind hardening.

Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, along with its parent company Ygrene Energy Fund, partners with local governments nationwide to streamline financing, administration and implementation of renewable energy, energy efficiency and hurricane protection building improvement projects. Its locally designed financing solution offers property owners private funding for building energy upgrades at no installation cost, repaid through property tax assessments.

"This decision by the city of Coral Gables completes the most ambitious energy upgrade initiative in the U.S. to date, extending immediate financing to an area with more than 500,000 residents across South Florida," said Joe Spector, director of operations for Ygrene Energy Fund Florida. "We look forward to creating jobs that can't be outsourced and driving economic recovery—without a dime of public funding."

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Sacramento May Expand Energy Program

April 30, 2012

The city of Sacramento is poised to expand its program to help commercial building owners pay for energy-efficiency improvements.

On Tuesday, the City Council is scheduled to consider declaring its intent to establish a community facilities district for the Clean Energy Sacramento program, which would replace Sacramento’s Property-Assessed Clean Energy — or PACE — program. More than 200 property owners and contractors have already signed up for that program, set to roll out this spring.

The council would amend its contract with Ygrene Energy Fund California LLC, the company selected to administer the program, in light of a new state law that Ygrene President Dan Schaefer described as “very protective of property owners.”

Full Article

Ygrene Energy Fund Awarded Prestigious Edison Award

SANTA ROSA, Calif., April 27, 2012

Recognition in social innovation category adds to growing list of accolades

Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of energy retrofit programs for local governments, today announced it has been awarded the silver 2012 Edison Award in the innovative services category for social innovation. The prestigious acknowledgement adds to a growing list of accolades recognizing Ygrene's leadership unlocking hundreds of millions of dollars to implement energy retrofits, create thousands of jobs and inject billions in economic stimulus.

"Ygrene is honored to be recognized for achievements in the inventive tradition of Thomas Edison," said Dennis Hunter, Ygrene Chairman. "Much as Edison's light bulb revolutionized how we live, we believe Ygrene's innovative financing program is revolutionizing how we use and save energy. Not all PACE programs are created equal, and as more and more leaders learn about the unparalleled economic power of our unique, privately funded model, we will continue our rapid growth to leading municipalities like Miami and Sacramento."

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Greater Miami To Launch $550 Million Energy Retrofit Fund; Billions InUnfunded Projects Wait Nationwide

April 27, 2012

When I last dedicated a post to property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs, in January, I described how, with the residential PACE market stalled, project developers and financiers had collaborated to establish a commercial market.

On April 12, a vote by the Miami City Commission authorizing the city to join the South Florida Green Corridor District brought one of the commercial PACE collaborations much closer to fruition.

The PACE Commercial Consortium, spearheaded by the Carbon War Room and backed by Lockheed MartinBarclays Capital, and Ygrene Energy Fund, announced, in September 2011, its intent to fund $550 million worth of energy retrofits in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and $100 million more in Sacramento, California.

PACE financing enables property owners to take out a loan, usually via city- or state-organized bonds, to pay for energy efficiency upgrades or onsite renewable energy. Loans are repaid, typically over 20 years, through an annual supplemental property tax assessment.

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Five Reasons Why California Cities Will Build One Million Solar Roofsand 12 Distributed GW by 2020

April 24, 2012

At the end of 2011 there were approximately 100,000 installations and 1GW of solar PV in California (1).  The state has dual goals of one million solar roofs by 2018 and 12 GW of distributed generation by 2020.  Can California cities scale their clean energy infrastructure by an order of magnitude over the next six to eight years while attracting investments and generating local jobs?

The math says yes and the answer to the future of clean distributed energy in California may be found in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County and the Future of Energy

Here’s the math: the city of Sonoma had 507 solar watts per resident and 4.5 solar installation per 100 residents at the end of 2011, according to Environment California’s “California Solar

California Cities Have dual goals of building One Million Solar Roofs and 12 Distributed GW by 2020 Cities 2012”. (1)

This does not sound like much.  However, if you extrapolate these numbers to California’s 38 million residents, the state would have 19 GW and 1.7 million installations of solar.  This would mean that the Golden State would surpass its 2020 distributed generation goal by 45% and the number of solar installations by 70%.

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Home Energy Program in Sonoma a Beacon for Broken National Effort

April 24, 2012

A judge forces the federal agency that squashed the PACE home energy program to draft rules and start over.

Yager says that Sonoma paused its program after the July letter, but brought it back a week later when the county's board of supervisors declared support for PACE. The county later tightened its application standards, which reflect those proposed in a bipartisan House bill. Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) introduced the bill in July 2011 to make a nationwide PACE program more palatable to the housing industry. The bill, which has 53 co-sponsors, is stuck in a House subcommittee.

In Sonoma, for instance, applicants can't be in bankruptcy or behind on other property tax payments to qualify, and their home mortgages can't be "underwater," or homes with values less than the size of the mortgage.

Just 1.1 percent of people with PACE assessments have fallen behind on mortgage payments by 60 days or more, Yager says. By contrast, she says, an average of about 8 percent of homeowners across the county have defaulted on their mortgages in recent years.

Full Article

Miami dips toe into county's green entente

April 19, 2012

Miami will join a number of municipalities in South Florida to form the Green Corridor Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) District, which will allow property owners to finance green improvements through local government.

Miami commissioners voted Thursday to authorize the city manager to execute an agreement with Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami and Miami Shores for establishment of the green corridor.

However, because some commissioners held concerns regarding the program, including whether it could result in predatory lending, commissioners only approved the program for commercial properties for the first year and said they would revisit it down the road for single-family homes and duplexes.

Prior to being approved, the commission had deferred voting on the matter multiple times while it determined if the program's benefits would outweigh the possible risks. City Manager Johnny Martinez said the progra

Full Article

Ygrene Welcomes City of Miami to Green Corridor District

MIAMI, April 12, 2012

Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, a provider of energy retrofit programs for local governments throughout the state, today welcomed the City of Miami to South Florida's Green Corridor District. The unanimous City Commission vote enables Miami to tap into more than $550 million of private capital funding to unlock affordable, immediately accessible financing for commercial building energy upgrades and wind hardening.

Ygrene Florida, along with its parent company Ygrene Energy Fund, partners with local governments throughout the U.S., including major cities like Sacramento, CA, to streamline the financing, administration and implementation of renewable and energy efficiency building improvement projects. Its locally designed financing solution offers property owners reliable funding for building energy upgrades -- at no installation cost and repayable over the long term through property tax assessments.

"Miami and all of the communities in South Florida's Green Corridor District are leading the next era of progressive, smart city policy," said Joe Spector, director of operations for Ygrene Energy Fund Florida. "Rather than leaving money on the table, these communities have elected to jumpstart economic growth and forge a reliable source for energy improvement financing. We welcome the City of Miami to the Green Corridor."

Full Release

White House listens to Miami’s business perspective

WASHINGTON -- April 4, 2012

Business leaders pay their way to Washington to express their opinions on how the government can spur economic growth in South Florida.

The White House got an earful Tuesday from Miami business leaders, who met with senior officials to talk about what government can do to help — or in some cases, step aside — when it comes to economic competitiveness, job creation and innovation.

More than 25 business leaders from Miami traveled to the White House on their own dime to hear from such administration officials as Mark Doms, the chief economist at the Department of Commerce, and Francisco Sanchez, the undersecretary for international trade at the same agency.

The White House has had dozens of such meetings with U.S. business leaders — 25 this year alone. Those meetings are designed to build on a program where the Obama administration visited communities across the country to meet with business leaders in small round-table discussions, the White House said.

The goal has been to get feedback on what the Obama administration can be doing more of — or in some cases, less of — for job creation. The White House is also eager to make sure that business leaders are aware of what the administration is doing, and programs and resources that can help businesses grow and succeed.

Full Article

Ygrene Energy Fund to Participate in Jobs and Economy Forum at theWhite House

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2012

Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, a subsidiary of Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading provider of energy efficiency programs for local governments, today announces that the company will participate in the White House Business Council's "Conversation on Jobs and the Miami Economy" event on Tuesday, April 3 in Washington, D.C.The company will present perspectives about the thousands of jobs and millions in economic stimulus funds made possible through its energy efficiency financing program Clean Energy Green Corridor in Southern Florida.

The invite-only event, held with senior White House officials, will foster dialogue between civic and business leaders about creating greater economic opportunity, innovation and job creation in Miami and the greater Florida region. The event is co-hosted by Business Forward, a national business trade group.

Full Release

Feds stymied state, local green jobs programs

March 26, 2012

While the Obama Administration was pushing for greater energy efficiency in buildings, a federal agency born out of the U.S. housing bubble has stymied attempts by state and locals governments to retrofit homes.

The White House announced a US$4 trillion energy efficiency plan dubbed the “Better Buildings Challenge” in December. It argues that the plan will help businesses and government buildings save on energy costs with the added benefit of creating over 100,000 green jobs.

That may sound like a terrific idea that should be replicated across the country.  Indeed, the Rockefeller Foundation & Deutsche Bank have determined in a study that energy retrofits and renewables are a US279B$ market with the potential to employ 7 million workers. There’s a nice multiplier effect.

State and local governments tried their hand at it only to be tangled in bureaucracy. It’s a twisted tale of one hand of the federal government acting differently than another. The tale begins with a Federal agency born out of the housing crisis.

Full Article

Out PACE-ing the Economy

Founded to bring private capital to the service of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, the Ygrene Energy Fund is pioneering an innovative approach to the problem of climate change. In an interview with Green Technology magazine, Dan Schaefer, the fund’s president, discusses this new model, its potential for job creation and economic stimulus, and the prospect of virtually unlimited funds for energy efficiency projects in existing buildings.

Please explain what PACE financing is all about.

PACE is the acronym for Property Assessed Clean Energy, which effectively allows local governments to implement energy efficiency tax districts. With PACE financing, energy efficiency improvements are paid for through a source of funding arranged by the local governments, and costs are paid back on property tax bills for up to a 20-year term. It's an innovative way to finance energy efficiency programs through upfront funding with no out-of-pocket costs for property owners.

How is Ygrene Energy Fund involved in PACE financing?

What Ygrene does is offer a turnkey solution for local governments that don't have either the capital to implement the structure to manage a PACE district, or, more important, the capital to actually fund the projects. We have developed a completely private capital solution through a public-private partnership model in order to implement a PACE district at no risk or cost to local government.

Clean Energy Sacramento, a PACE program managed and funded by Ygrene, provides financing to commercial property owners for renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades. What does this program look like, and what do you hope to achieve there?

We're in that just-launching phase in Sacramento, what we call the judicial validation stage. This is the last stage before we can operate there and actually fund a project. We do have a pretty substantial number of property owners who have contacted us, as well as contractors who are going to get trained in this program. Property owners are lining up their projects because the Clean Energy Sacramento program is now available. One very interesting aspect of our program is that each city or county or group of cities that adopt the program gets a very localized web portal and marketing campaign, so they can leverage the momentum and opportunity to work together to make the program more successful.

Full Interview

Edison Awards Announces 2012 Finalists

CHICAGO, IL, Feb 13, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX)

Celebrating 25 Years of Honoring Innovation and Innovators


The Edison Awards, celebrating its 25th year, has announced its finalists for the internationally renowned 2012 Edison Best New Product Awards. Since 1987, The Edison Awards have recognized ideas at the forefront of new products, services, marketing, design and innovation. Winning an Edison Award has become one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business.


"The Edison Awards provide an exclusive platform for honoring innovation, recognizing innovators, and encouraging ongoing innovation among today's development teams, researchers, designers, 'intrapreneurs' and entrepreneurs," says Thomas Stat, the 2012 Edison Awards Steering Committee Chairman. "We're inspired by our 2012 finalists and delighted to have this opportunity to recognize and promote the outstanding accomplishments they represent."


Full Release

PACE Financing on the Rebound

By JEFF ST. JOHN of Greentech Media - February 10, 2012

Federal regulators consider unblocking the billion-dollar PACE residential market. Meanwhile, can commercial and industrial PACE take off?


Property-assessed clean energy, or PACE, financing has had a rough ride over the past few years, but it’s poised for a comeback. On the home front, we’ve got federal regulators considering ways to unblock a financing model that could spur billions of dollars in residential energy retrofits. And on the commercial side, we’ve got some showcase projects that could unlock a market even bigger in scope.

That’s not bad, considering the death many analysts were predicting for the PACE model in 2010. That’s when the Federal Housing Finance Agency told mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that they couldn't underwrite mortgages for homes that sought to pay back home energy efficiency upgrades, solar panels and other projects through property taxes.

Residential PACE programs underway in 27 states were cut short. Sure, you could still fund your home improvement project through PACE programs. But you couldn’t pass the tax burden on to someone else when you sold or refinanced, which was PACE’s big selling point.

Full Article

Powerful Solar Financing Program For Homeowners Gets Reprieve

By Justin Gerdes of Forbes - January 27, 2012

On January 20, a federal district court in California ordered the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to initiate a “full-blown” rulemaking process on PACE financing. Yesterday, the notice of the proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register. The week before, on January 19, San Diego-based Figtree Energy Resource Company announced a deal involving a first-of-its-kind, multi-city commercial PACE bond.

First, some back story.

Rarely have energy policy wonks been so excited. In October 2007, that City of Berkeley announced its intention to create what it called a Sustainable Energy Financing District. Based on an idea credited to Cisco DeVries, then chief of staff to Mayor Tom Bates, the scheme appeared to offer a breathtakingly simple and elegant solution to a seemingly intractable problem: the steep upfront cost of clean energy and efficiency projects.


PACE financing offers homeowners a way to install energy upgrades, such as rooftop solar panels, without the steep upfront costs. Credit: groSolar/DOE


PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs, as DeVries’ brainchild are now known, proliferated; today, legislation enabling the programs has been passed in 27 states. PACE financing enables property owners to take out a loan, usually via city- or state-organized bonds, to pay for solar panels, insulation, energy-efficient HVAC systems, or other improvements. Loans are repaid, typically over 20 years, through an annual supplemental property tax assessment.

Full Article

Bay Area firms aid Obama's energy retrofit plan

By Andrew S. Ross of SFGate - December 6, 2011

When President Obama announced his $4 billion initiative to finance energy efficiency programs at the White House on Friday, a number of Bay Area allies were, literally, right behind him.

There were senior executives from San Francisco's Metrus Energy, which committed $75 million of private capital to the initiative, and from Sunnyvale's Serious Energy and Santa Rosa's Ygrene Energy Fund, both contributing $100 million.

They're among the 60 private companies and other entities "stepping up," in Obama's words, in an effort to retrofit public and commercial buildings nationwide, pitching in approximately half of the $4 billion needed. The rest of the funding for the "Better Buildings Challenge" will come from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Full Article

Obama leads U.S. green building campaign with $4 billion fund

By Jhoanna Frances S. Valdez of EcoSeed - December 4, 2011

United States President Barack Obama announced a presidential memorandum to create a public-private fund of nearly $4 billion to facilitate energy upgrades in federal and private buildings through the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative crafted last February.

The initiative had an initial goal to make all commercial buildings at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. Last Friday's memorandum now directs all federal buildings to join the cause by also installing energy saving technologies without up-front capital costs and at no cost to taxpayers.

The commercial sector effort is led by former President Bill Clinton under the Better Buildings Initiative. From an initial purse of around $500 million and goal of upgrading 300 million square feet of space, it now has $2 billion in financial commitments matched with a sweeping goal to upgrade approximately 1.6 Billion square feet of commercial and industrial property.

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We Can't Wait: President Obama Announces Nearly $4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings

Office of Press Secretary - The White House - December 2, 2011

Upgrades Will Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs and Save Billions


WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector. The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers. In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.

Today’s commitments were announced by President Obama and former President Clinton along with representatives from more than 60 organizations as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. The Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative launched in February by President Obama, and is spearheaded by former President Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to support job creation by catalyzing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades to make America’s buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade, reducing energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion. Last year, commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all the energy used by the U.S. economy.

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Building Retrofits: Tapping The Energy-Saving Potential

By David Biello of  Yale E360 - November 7, 2011

No more cost-effective way to make major cuts in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions exists than retrofitting buildings. Now, from New York to Mumbai to Melbourne, a push is on to overhaul older buildings to make them more energy efficient.


Of the hundreds of thousands of buildings in New York City, none is more iconic than the Empire State Building. Completed in 1931 as the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Art Deco edifice was meant not only to house thousands of office workers, but to serve as a dock for the coming age of dirigibles.

Now the 102-story building has a new tale to tell: efficiency. A recent $20-million retrofit — which included everything from cleaning and re-insulating more than 6,000 windows to caulking leaks in the building’s facade — reduced energy use by nearly 40 percent, according to air and energy program lawyer Katherine Kennedy of the Natural Resources Defense Council. And the Empire State Building is just the most visible example of a new trend — retrofitting old buildings to be more energy efficient. For example, billionaire businessman Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room and the Ygrene Energy Fund are leading a consortium that will invest as much as $650 million in similar retrofits in Miami and Sacramento.

Full Article

Sacramento Power Play

By of Governing - November 2, 2011

I've long been skeptical about using taxpayer dollars to bolster the clean-energy industry--or any other private businesses, for that matter. But a privately financed program underway in Sacramento, Calif., is showing that good environmental policy can also be good fiscal policy.

The program will allow Sacramento businesses to complete $100 million worth of energy retrofits on commercial buildings without incurring any upfront costs. The money for the retrofits, from private lenders, would be repaid through a property-tax surcharge on the participating business, but the important point is that the reduction in energy costs--typically about one-third--would more than cover the temporary property-tax increase.

And though I'm just as skeptical of public economic-development projections as I am of private businesses getting government subsidies, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's office estimates that the $100 million investment has the potential to stimulate another $530 million in regional economic activity. The mayor's office also predicts that the program will create 1,500 construction jobs.

Full Article

Loan program will help Sacramento energy-saving retrofits

By Dale Kasler and Rick Daysog of the Sacramento Bee - September 28, 2011

A high-powered investment coalition assembled by Richard Branson, the eccentric British billionaire, is offering Sacramento a shot at hundreds of jobs through a $100 million energy-efficiency program.

Sacramento is one of two cities chosen by Branson's nonprofit Carbon War Room group for a privately financed effort to retrofit office buildings and other commercial properties. The other city is Miami; the program would total $650 million.

Announced late Monday, the deal could mean jobs for hundreds if not thousands of Sacramento construction workers. They would install double-pane windows, solar panels and the like on buildings throughout the city.

"This has the potential to be a huge economic boost for Sacramento," said Mayor Kevin Johnson in a prepared statement. "It represents real jobs, right now, and a chance to be a showcase."

Full Article

Paying for green retrofits: the Ygrene approach

By Press Democrat Staff - September 25, 2011

Santa Rosa's Ygrene Energy Fund offers cities and counties a comprehensive program to fund green energy upgrades at homes and businesses.



Some say the program could unlock an unprecedented wave of private investment to make buildings more energy efficient and create construction jobs, while others say the financing plan has flaws that could turn off some borrowers and lenders.

Ygrene worked with the nonprofit Carbon War Room this year to develop a consortium of multinational giants willing to fund, insure and engineer energy retrofit projects. Ygrene, which is administering the program, is now marketing the concept to cities and counties across the United States.

Full Ariticle


Santa Rosa-based Ygrene leads $650 million green-retrofit effort

By Jeff Quackenbush of - September 23, 2011

Santa Rosa-based effort joins with big names; $100 million for Sacramento

SANTA ROSA — Five years ago, co-founders of Santa Rosa-based Ygrene Energy Fund were trying to drum up local support for an innovative large-scale financing program to encourage real estate owners to embark upon energy-saving retrofit and renewable-power projects. And today Ygrene is leading a nationwide commercial property retrofit endeavor backed by a billionaire, a large investment bank, a high-tech manufacturer and two re-insurers and targeting $650 million in initial Sacramento- and Miami-area projects.

Ygrene, started by Dennis Hunter to help municipalities set up project financing programs for property owners that would be paid back via voluntary property-tax assessments, is leading a group consisting of Carbon War Room, a San Francisco-based nonprofit started by Virgin Airways founder Richard Branson; Barclays CapitalLockheed Martin; Massachusetts-based energy industry re-insurer Energi Insurance Services; and Energi’s Germany-based parent, Hannover RE, the world’s third-largest re-insurer.

“All this means we can produce loans with very, very high credit ratings, even in this environment,” said Mr. Hunter, Ygrene’s chairman and veteran of the local banking and real estate development industries.

Full Article

Unlocking a $500B green industry, without government money

By Jigar Shah, CEO, Carbon War Room - September 22, 2011

My organization, the Carbon War Room, has put together a consortium to tackle, as was reported in the New York Times this week, “one of the nation’s biggest energy problems — waste in older buildings — without new money from Washington.”

With the consortium, we’re also tackling another case of waste: developed technologies that are not being deployed. Business can halve the world’s emissions using current technology, acting within existing policy frameworks, and despite the global economic slowdown.

In fact, this emissions challenge is the largest wealth-creation opportunity on the planet. There are technologies that exist today that can solve our energy issues that could be scaled much faster. This new business consortium is an example.

The new consortium

As reported, the business consortium, led by the Ygrene Energy Fund of Santa Rosa, Calif., will unlock millions of dollars of investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for U.S. commercial real estate.

Full Article

Using Tax Money to Make Old Buildings Green Again

By BRYAN WALSH of Time - September 20, 2011

It’s ClimateWeek in New York City, which overruns with the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly and the yearly summit of the Clinton Global Initiative. In other words, don’t even try to take a taxi in Manhattan this week. We’ll also see plenty of bold policy announcements and generous philanthropic commitments, along with the expected hot air—often in the same place at the same time. The challenge for reporters—other than trying to make all of their meetings on time—is to pick out the deals that can really make a difference from the ones that just look good on paper.

Here’s a meaningful one: today a business consortium that includes Lockheed Martin and Barclays announced plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years to green existing buildings in the Miami and Sacramento areas. The deal—put together by the Carbon War Room, Virgin CEO Richard Branson’s climate change initiative—represents a major step forward for the effort to expand the market for energy-efficiency retrofits for existing buildings. That market could create tens of thousands of needed construction jobs and reduce energy waste and carbon emissions. “Our charge here is to help cities set up these [efficiency] programs,” says Murat Armbruster, a senior advisor at the Carbon War Room. “But ultimately it’s industry that is going to take the lead on this.”

Full Article

Investors choose Sacramento for green building retrofits

By Melanie Turner of the Sacramento Business Journal - September 20, 2011

Sacramento is one of two U.S. cities chosen to benefit from millions of dollars in private investment that’s part of a huge energy-efficiency project led by English business magnate Richard Branson.

The project, unveiled Tuesday, aims to tap private investment to help stimulate the retrofitting of commercial buildings in Sacramento and Miami-Dade County, potentially creating thousands of construction jobs.

Branson’s nonprofit Carbon War Room, which works to battle climate change, on Tuesday announced a consortium that includes Lockheed Martin Corp., Barclays Capital    and Ygrene Energy Fund of Santa Rosa.

Full Article

Consortium signs green property deals

By Ed Crooks of Financial Times - September 20, 2011

A consortium backed by companies including Lockheed Martin and Barclays Capital is on Tuesday announcing the first deals for a new scheme for energy-saving investments in offices and factories.

The plan is to open a market that could be worth $1,000bn or more in the US alone.

The scheme allows owners of financial and commercial buildings to finance energy-saving works such as insulation with bonds paid for through the property tax system.

The consortium, set up by the Carbon War Room, an environmental group, has signed deals with two US counties – Miami-Dade, Florida and Sacramento, California – that will deliver an estimated $650m of investment, with more projects to follow.

Full Article

Tax Plan to Turn Old Buildings ‘Green’ Finds Favor

By  of the New York Times - Published: September 19, 2011

A business consortium that includes Lockheed Martin and Barclays bank plans to invest as much as $650 million over the next few years to slash the energy consumption of buildings in the Miami and Sacramento areas. It is the most ambitious effort yet to jump-start a national market for energy upgrades that many people believe could eventually be worth billions.

Focusing mainly on commercial property at first, the group plans to exploit a new tax arrangement that allows property owners to upgrade their buildings at no upfront cost, typically cutting their energy use and their utility bills by a third. The building owners would pay for the upgrades over five to 20 years through surcharges on their property-tax bills, but that would be less than the savings.

The consortium is led by a company called Ygrene Energy Fund of Santa Rosa, Calif., which has already won an exclusive contract to manage a retrofit program for a half-dozen communities in the Miami area, with the city expected to join in a few weeks. It is in the late stages of completing a contract with Sacramento, and is seeking deals in other cities.

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