Figtree Financing Fills Gap in Commercial Solar Financing
Cleantech San Diego member company Figtree Financing has funded nearly $4.5 million in commercial PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) projects in the last 45 days alone, evidence of the continued interest in smart investments, energy savings and emissions reductions for property owners. The projects were funded under Figtree Financing’s Commercial PACE Program using $60 million in committed capital for energy upgrades. Launched in 2014, the program has proven to be very successful at reducing the cost of financing and increasing the speed of funding for commercial projects.
“Launching this new financing last year was a game-changer. We were pleased to see such a wealth of interest statewide, and this recent funding activity is the result of that interest turning into real funding,” said Mahesh Shah, CEO, Figtree Financing. “As we help to improve property values and reduce emissions, Figtree continues to grow because we provide property owners and contractors a single-source, consistent experience from application to funding.”
These projects are evidence of the unique benefits of PACE, since the businesses and nonprofits funded did not have investment-grade credit and had limited options for energy and water conservation financing. The projects, located across northern and southern California, include improvements to private universities, offices, industrial buildings, golf courses, healthcare facilities and houses of worship, ranging in size from $50,000 to $1.5 million. These projects deliver substantial savings on utility bills, creating positive cash flow from year one, and they support state, county, and city goals of emissions reduction, resulting in more than 1,200 metric tons of carbon emissions offset annually. The first cities and counties to adopt Figtree PACE are starting to realize benefits for their leadership and their commitment to fostering innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions.
In its Q1 2015 U.S. Solar Market Insight, GTM Research reported a 6% decline in U.S. commercial solar MW to come online. Even more alarming, the share of small U.S. commercial solar less than 1 MW has been declining since 2010, according to GTM Research and supporting data from the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q2 2014 report. Figtree Commercial PACE Financing is boosting the small commercial market that has struggled to keep pace with the linear growth of residential solar. The streamlined underwriting and security of commercial PACE financing make it uniquely suited for small and medium commercial spaces that have limited sources of capital for improvements; these are sound projects that deliver excellent ROI for property owners. Figtree’s Commercial PACE Program has uniform underwriting and creates a streamlined approach to complex transactions that can be difficult to underwrite with traditional, PPA and lease financing products.
“With our committed capital, we can fund projects as small as $5,000 as well as large projects including nonprofits, small businesses, houses of worship and more. Figtree Financing is the only private commercial PACE program that serves this broad market,” added Ryan Ahearn, Vice President of Marketing, Figtree Financing. “And since 2016 is the targeted expiration and reduction of key solar incentives, now is the perfect time to take a closer look at renewable project opportunities.”
Figtree Commercial PACE Financing provides property owners with no-money-down, long term, low interest rate financing to improve properties with energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades. Commercial PACE from Figtree Financing is now available in more than 120 cities and counties throughout California, doubling the company’s contractor partner network and resulting in a 10-fold increase in project activity in 2015.