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Title: Better Buildings NW Ohio

When the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority (TLCPA) filed for the Department of Energy EECBG grant in late 2009, it was part of a strategic and Board backed objective to expand the organization’s economic development and financing programs into alternative energy and energy efficiency. This plan was filed with the knowledge and support of the areas key economic development agencies. The City of Toledo was also a key partner with the Mayor designating a committee to develop a Strategic Energy Policy for the City. This would later give rise to a Community Sustainability Strategic Plan for Toledo, Lucas County and the surrounding region with energy efficiency as a key pillar. When the TLCPA signed the grant documents with the DOE in June of 2010, the geographic area was severely distressed economically, in the early stages of a recovery from over a 30% drop in business activity and high unemployment. The TLCPA and its partners began identifying potential project areas well before the filing of the application, continuing to work diligently before the formal award and signing of the grant documents. Strong implementation and actions plans and business and financing models were developed and revised throughout the 3 year grant periodmore » with the long term goal of creating a sustainable program. The TLCPA and the City of Toledo demonstrated early leadership by forming the energy improvement district and evaluating buildings under their control including transportation infrastructure and logistics, government services buildings and buildings which housed several for profit and not for profit tenants while completing significant energy efficiency projects that created public awareness and confidence and solid examples of various technologies and energy savings. As was stated in the DOE Award Summary, the undertaking was focused as a commercial program delving into Alternative Energy Utility Districts; what are referred to in Ohio Statute as Energy Special Improvement Districts or ESIDs and what is nationally known as Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE districts and PACE financing. The project methodology followed the identify, develop, implement, monitor and measure format. These districts began in Toledo and adjoining areas and are expanding to TLCPA’s 28 county financing agency geographic footprint. What began as the Toledo Ohio Advanced Energy Improvement Corporation is now doing business as the Northwest Ohio Advanced Energy Improvement District recognizing it expansion into creating and financing other districts in NW Ohio. The program has been sought out as an advisor by major communities and states in the process of developing similar legislation and programs and has become one of the largest most successful PACE energy improvement and financing districts in the US. The program and the energy district focused on transforming energy use, delivery, conservation and renewable energy as “options of first choice”. The significant energy savings paid for many of the improvements and created a financially viable program well beyond the grant period. The program has become a model within the State of Ohio and Nationally on how to implement and finance projects in broad energy districts including how to evolve and integrate several financing methodologies. It is a unique utilization of revolving loan funds and energy bond pooling with revenue backing primarily from energy improvement special assessments on commercial properties along with some power purchase agreement (PPA) and loan agreement revenue. The program has also incorporated Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, State of Ohio Energy Loans (SEP), utility rebates, solar and renewable energy certificates, renewable tax incentives and grants, and owner funded equity as additional program leverage and funding. Other keys to this success have been a continual simplification and refinement of the application and documentation process to make funding available easily and quickly to building owners when they are prepared to commit to the project as well as act as a trusted facilitator and advisor to both building owners and other stakeholders. Taking a flexible and pragmatic approach to project evaluation and implementation that matches time and expense to the complexity of the project has been another key learning. To date the program has closed 3 energy bond issues through the TLCPA sponsored and managed NW Ohio Bond Fund totaling $16.54 million (of which $3.34 million were QECB qualified). The program has turned over its $3.0 million revolving loan fund twice as construction financing in advance of bond issuance and currently has issued $1.25 million in revolving term loans. The program has $1.66 million of remaining capacity for QECB qualified bonds. The program can issue an additional $13.46 million in energy bonds continuing to utilize its DOE EECBG loan loss reserves. In addition, the program has available $3.6 million of loan loss reserves from the State of Ohio, as an eligible Port Authority, that can back the issuance of an additional $7.2 to $14.4 million of energy bonds. This does not include additional bond capacity is available from the NW Ohio Bond Fund. The program is the master escrow agent for $18 million of loan loss reserves from the State of Ohio for eligible Port Authorities that can be utilized to assist the formation of energy districts and financing programs in major metropolitan areas and regions around the State of Ohio. Other leveraged funds now total $10 million; placing the total project value completed and financed at over $30 million. In addition that program has generated an active pipeline of projects in various stages that total $25 – $30 million.« less
  1. Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Toledo, OH (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Toledo, OH (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States