MOTION TO ADOPT Resolution No. 2016-334 pertaining to authorizing financing of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) improvements within Broward County, providing for PACE provider levy of non-ad valorem assessments, providing for third party administration, providing for financing agreements, providing for approval of PACE provider agreements, directing staff to evaluate additional PACE providers, establishing standards for evaluating additional PACE providers, directing staff to negotiate with additional PACE providers, directing staff to present future PACE provider agreements for Board consideration; and providing for severability and an effective date. (All Commission Districts)
(Per the Tuesday Morning Memorandum, Item #52 was heard after Public Hearing Item #15.)
ACTION: (T-7:42 PM) Approved, as amended, with the Purple-Sheeted Additional Material dated June 14, 2016, (Public Hearing Item #15) submitted at the request of County Administration.
VOTE: 8-0. Commission District 3 is open.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND GROWTH MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND COMMUNITY RESILIENCE DIVISION RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF THE ABOVE MOTIONS.
This item supports the Commission's Value: Encouraging investments in renewable energy, sustainable practices and environmental protection and Goals to: 1) Seek funding for, implement policies and pursue projects promoting the use of alternative energy, resource conservation, sustainable practices and environmental protection; 2) Proactively lead in the planning, design, and construction of projects to support community resilience and climate adaption, including coordination with other entities to foster resilient design as part of all local and regional projects by expanding access to, and implementation of energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy, and resiliency improvements by residential and commercial property owners via Property Assessed Clean Energy as a means for financing qualifying improvements.
With support for this item, the Board of County Commissioners authorizes PACE Providers to accept applications for and finance Qualifying Improvements within Broward County's incorporated and unincorporated areas on a nonexclusive basis, approves agreements providing for Broward County's joining of the Green Corridor Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) District and the Florida Green Finance Authority and the delivery of PACE program services by YGrene and Renew Financial, as third party program administrators for the aforementioned PACE governments, respectively. Qualifying improvements include energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy, and wind resistance improvements. Support for this item also establishes a process for the review and evaluation of additional PACE program service providers for expanded delivery of PACE program services in Broward County.
This action is consistent with Section 163.08, Florida Statutes, which sets forth provisions for local governments to establish programs to finance qualifying energy conservation and efficiency improvements to properties within their jurisdiction. These programs are known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs, whereby the repayment of such improvements is levied and collected as a non-ad valorem assessment.
Staff worked closely with both service providers to ensure parity in the basic terms and conditions between the Green Corridor ILA, the Ygrene Third Party Administrator Agreement, and the FGFA Limited Party Membership Agreement. Notable provisions include the following:
Local municipalities desiring exclusion from the program will have 120 days to opt-out, after which the service area for the program will be established allowing both vendors to deliver services within the remaining service area of Broward County. Vendors may maintain or commence service delivery should an agreement already exist between the vendor and a Broward municipality or should positive response for municipal inclusion in the program be provided prior to the 120-day timeframe. It is acknowledged that the service area may be altered from time to time with written notice.
Should the County choose to terminate the PACE program agreements or should a municipality choose to opt-out at a later date, the program providers shall not approve additional applications within the affected service areas, but shall complete pending projects and property owners whose applications were approved prior to the termination date will remain part of the service area until outstanding debt has been satisfied.
PACE Program Policies
In addition to Broward PACE program policies established through administrative code or ordinance, general program guidelines are detailed in the Renew Residential Handbook and the Ygrene Clean Energy Program Guidelines, including program purpose, eligibility, fees and repayment terms (Exhibits 3, 4, and 5).
Since 2010, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners has actively researched and pursued incentives to further energy efficiency, renewal energy, and weatherization improvements as part of regional program. This has included several staff program briefings, an RLI for a Turnkey Energy Efficiency and Service Program issued in 2012, and a Finance Models Board Workshop in 2013. On October 8, 2013, staff was provided board direction to negotiate with the two top-ranked vendors from the aforementioned, but previously terminated RLI, for third party administration of a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Broward County.
Staff commenced PACE negotiations in 2013, but shortly thereafter these were deferred due to pending PACE litigation in the Florida court system and the potential for PACE program implications. Cases were concluded in late 2015 with no PACE program consequences and staff renewed negotiations in early 2016.
In accordance with the Board's earlier direction, staff negotiated agreements with the two aforementioned vendors: Renew Financial (formerly EcoCity, L3C Partners) and Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, LLC. These vendors serve as Third Party Administrators for the Florida Green Finance Authority (FGFA) and the Green Corridor Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) District, respectively. The FGFA and Green Corridor PACE District were established in accordance with Section 163.08 (5) 163.01 (7) Florida Statutes, and are thus defined as local governments and separate legal entities authorized to provide and finance qualifying PACE improvements. Under this statute, a qualifying improvement program can be administered by for-profit entity or not-for-profit organization, on behalf of, and at the discretion of the local government.
Participation of Additional PACE Providers
The PACE authorizing Resolution presented here also establishes a process for review and evaluation of the qualifications of additional PACE program providers interested in providing PACE program services in Broward County. As part of this process, a draft PACE Program Provider evaluation matrix is presented as Exhibit "A" to the subject Resolution (Exhibit 1). This matrix is substantially similar to the matrix used in the initial review and evaluation of the PACE Program Providers with whom staff subsequently negotiated the PACE agreements presented for approval with this item.
Support for Board Energy and Resiliency Goals
The Board has identified investments in renewable energy, sustainable practices and environmental protection as an overarching Board value, to be advanced through planning, policies, and projects. The Board has committed to reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate future climate change and resiliency planning to reduce vulnerabilities and potential impacts, especially from sea level rise and extreme storms. Specifically the Board has adopted a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 80% by 2050, relative to the 2010 baseline, and a 20% renewable energy goal. Recent emissions inventories reveal that 41% of regional emissions are associated with energy consumption in the commercial and residential sectors. Thus, energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy investments in these sectors will be essential to achieving these regional goals. In addition to furthering the objectives of the Board-adopted Community Energy Strategic Plan and the County's Renewable Energy Action, support for these items implements a key recommendation of the Broward County Climate Action Plan 2015 Update "to lead in the development of regional energy efficiency strategies and programs to expand access and deployment of energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy investments, and specific support for implementation of a countywide Property Assessed Clean Energy ("PACE") program."
The County Attorney's Office has provided legal review of the contract agreements and approval as to form (Exhibits 2, 3, and 4).