Solar Array

 

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy)

The Ecology Center works to launch and/or promote programs that help property-owners fund energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades. One such program is PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). We help cities and counties set up districts to administer PACE programs across Michigan.

PACE allows property owners to use a property-tax mechanism to finance energy improvements without incurring upfront costs, and at no cost to the public. In partnership with Lean & Green Michigan and the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, the Ecology Center holds training programs for architects, builders and contractors at programs around the state to understand PACE can help make their commercial buildings more energy efficient.

PACE allows building owners to finance projects supporting efficiency in both energy and water consumption and renewable energy.

In 2010, the legislature passed Michigan’s PACE statute, which allows local units of government to establish PACE districts in their communities. So far, nine counties and three cities in Michigan have taken advantage of the legislation. The counties include some of the state’s most populous including Wayne, Macomb, Washtenaw, Saginaw and Genesee, as well as large cities in Oakland County, including Southfield, Royal Oak and Rochester Hills. Eaton, Grand Traverse, Huron and Ingham counties also have partnered with Lean & Green Michigan to establish PACE districts. Ann Arbor also has its own publicly financed district.

Lean & Green Michigan is the name of the statewide PACE program and public-private partnership created by Levin Energy Partners, a company founded to promote clean energy strategies in Michigan. Levin has tailored a single PACE model for whole state so property owners, contractors and lenders only have one set of rules to follow. This model relies on private capital, although local governments are also permitted to issue bonds.

 

Community Solar

'Community Solar' is a way for groups of people or businesses to purchase shares in a renewable energy system not located on their property. This allows increased investment in solar because it opens up options for those with site issues (too shady, wrong orientation, etc.) or those who do not own their property. It also helps overcome the high cost of installing a full solar energy system. Ann Arbor's Climate Action Plan encourages these types of projects, but public utilities like DTE are only allowed to offer community solar programs as pilot projects when approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The Ecology Center is helping establish these pilot projects and working to remove barriers to community solar projects.

Published on January 19, 2017

News

News  |  October 21, 2021
The State of Michigan is gearing up for electrifying changes in the automotive world in the next few decades, thanks in large part to the dedicated teams on Governor Whitmer's Council on Future Mobility and Electrification and Council on Climate Solutions.  
Image of black nonstick fry pan
Press Release  |  October 6, 2021
A new study by the Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff Lab, “Still Cooking: An Update on Toxic PFAS in Cookware Products,” found some cookware manufacturers still use PFAS coatings on their nonstick products, despite claims that their pans are free from certain PFAS chemicals.
Press Release  |  September 30, 2021
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy announces five groups to receive grants for all-electric commercial vehicles
Undisclosed PFAS coatings common on cookware
Press Release  |  December 15, 2020
New report shows undisclosed PFAS coatings common on cookware. Ecology Center tested 24 nonstick cooking and baking pans to document hidden hazards and highlight readily available safer pan alternatives.
News  |  November 25, 2020
Ann Arbor voters passed Proposal C, the city’s affordable housing millage proposal, with a resounding voter support rate of 73.49%. Prop C is a major win for our community and for the environment, tackling homelessness, housing insecurity, and the climate crisis at the same time.
News  |  July 21, 2020
A new report, The Mattress Still Matters, released by the Ecology Center and the Getting Ready for Baby (GRfB) campaign makes it easier for parents to make an educated choice about crib mattresses and reveals a need for transparency in the crib mattresses market.