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Hays County Becomes 12th Local Government to Establish PACE Program in Texas

San Marcos, Tex. – Hays County has become the 12th local government to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Texas. PACE is an innovative financing program enacted in 2013 that enables owners of commercial and industrial properties to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency improvements, and renewable retrofits.

Under the leadership of the Hays County Commissioners Court, commercial PACE is now available throughout the county, including Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle, San Marcos and other communities throughout the county. Hays County joins Travis and Williamson counties to form a three-county central Texas PACE region along the I-35 Corridor. 

“This program is designed to help local businesses of all sizes afford repairs and retrofits that result in energy and water conservation, at no cost to taxpayers,” said Hays County Judge Bert Cobb. “We appreciate the assistance of all who worked together to bring these options to our local business owners.”

The Hays County Commissioners Court adopted the PACE in a Box model and selected the Texas PACE Authority to administer the program. PACE in a Box standardizes the design of PACE programs in Texas, resulting in uniformity and predictability of requirements for PACE financing among all participating local jurisdictions. As a result, the various stakeholders in PACE financing transactions – property owners, lenders, governmental agencies, energy service companies, manufacturers and others – are able to accelerate the process of utilizing PACE financing in Texas.

Among the first anticipated to utilize the Hays County PACE program is Simon Properties’ Premium Outlets. Future-focused improvements to the HVAC, water, and energy systems are expected to be some of the many upgrades made by Simon Properties.

The Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) worked with Hays County to determine the value of implementing the PACE program.

“The PACE program is a cost-effective way for area building owners to make improvements to their facilities, which will help cut down on a businesses’ expenses while lowering its environmental impact,” said Adriana Cruz, President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership. “This is an attractive option to our existing businesses as they grow and look to enhance their pre-existing sites rather than relocating to newer locations, which may not be within the Greater San Marcos region. It’s a program that does not impact local taxes and supports the retention and expansion of our local employers already present in the community.”

How PACE Works

The PACE statute, Chapter 399 of the Texas Local Government Code, authorizes municipalities and counties in Texas to work with private sector lenders and property owners to finance qualified improvements using contractual assessments voluntarily imposed on the property by the owner.

The term of a PACE loan may extend up to 20 years, resulting in utility cost savings that exceed the amount of the assessment payment. As a result, improvements financed through PACE generate positive cash flow upon completion with no out-of-pocket cost to the property owner. If the property is sold before the full amount of the PACE loan is repaid, the repayment obligation automatically transfers to the next owner because the lien securing the PACE assessment follows title to the property. 

The program is available now and existing building owners are encouraged to apply. Those interested in applying for the PACE program should contact Victor Garza, Director of Existing Business, Talent & Entrepreneurship, at victorg@greatersanmarcostx.com.

About the Greater San Marcos Partnership

The Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) is the 501c6 regional economic development organization serving the city of San Marcos, and Hays and Caldwell Counties focused on positioning the region for a wider diversity of quality jobs for all with higher wages. The GSMP mission is to promote sustainable, responsible and comprehensive economic development in the greater San Marcos region by implementing a five-year economic development strategic plan. Visit greatersanmarcostx.com for more information.

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Contact:

Ashley Gossen

Director of Communications & Community Engagement

Greater San Marcos Partnership

O: (512) 393-3400 | C: (512) 781-2074 | E: ashleyg@greatersanmarcostx.com