“With monthly SCCA meetings we have been able to address many concerns and interests of the local businesses in a timely way.”
SCCA Member: Suzanne Weinstein, Coastal Seafoods

Financing for Renewable Energy

Lynn Hinkle, Director of Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association, attended our August SCCA Meeting to share information about the effectiveness and cost efficiency of solar energy. Many businesses might value the idea of renewable energy but find the hassle or the up front cost of installing solar panels prohibitive.

There are some financing options available to help with the up front cost, and SCCA is starting to look into ways that we might be able to help our members with identifying options that would work for their buildings. Hinkle presented the concept of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), which is a provision of the property tax code that spreads the cost of installing solar arrays over many years as a property tax assessment. Both the improvement and the tax assessment stay with the building if it is sold, reducing the business owner’s risk as well. The payments for the improvements come from utility cost savings. No Minneapolis businesses have used this tool so far, but a mechanic shop in Edina did a project this year, paving the way for SCCA to potentially initiate some projects in Seward. We will continue this conversation at future membership meetings, but we are interested in hearing from you: have you considered doing a retro-fit of more energy efficient fixtures? Would you be interested in more information about PACE? Would you like to have an energy assessment of your building to identify utility savings opportunities? Seward is known for its commitment to sustainability. Taking the next step in that commitment is something the SCCA board is excited to explore, and we’d love to include your business in the conversation. Please email us at info@sewardbusiness.org.

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