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Politics & Government

Oneida Co. Joins Loan Program To Improve Business Energy Efficiency

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A loan program designed to help business owners increase the value of their properties while cutting utility costs in a greener way was approved Tuesday by the Oneida County Board.

34 other Wisconsin counties have approved the "PACE" or Property Assessed Clean Energy financing to commercial business properties.

In 2016, the state authorized a commission to help businesses convert to more efficient forms of energy use.

Board chair David Hintz used an example the Hotel Retlaw in Fond du lac which had seen better days. The owners got PACE financing through that county...

"...PACE loans are based on energy efficiency. The Hotel Retlaw was able to get a loan because they put in new heating and air conditioning systems which saved money from prior utility bills. The savings from these utility bills are used to pay back the PACE loans..."

Several members of the public spoke in favor of Oneida county joining the state commission. One of them was Jackie Cody of Newbold...

"I felt it was so right for Oneida county. It provides the incentive for businesses to upgrade, retrofit and possibly build energy-efficient properties. I feel it will be encouraging to potential business buyers to know Oneida county offers PACE as part of Oneida county's economic development..."

The loan program also works with water efficiency improvement or a renewable resource application to property owners. The board approved without dissent joining the 34 other counties in the PACE program.

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