Main Street Repeats gets thrifty with PACE project for energy efficient lighting


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Main Street Repeats Thrift Store

If you are in Good Thunder (pop. 583) looking for a fun thrift store to update your home décor, stop into Main Street Repeats. Owners George and Maureen Spear not only have great deals awaiting the discerning customer, they also know a great deal when they see one: they recently upgraded their lights to LEDs using the Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

Located in Blue Earth County, Main Street Repeats recently worked with the Southwest Regional Development Commission utilize PACE. After an energy audit performed by Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), the LED lighting project was going to cost $9,980. They wisely turned to their electric utility, Xcel Energy, to claim the $1,728 in lighting rebates, knocked the price down to $8,252.

According to the energy audit, this improvement will result in $2,215 in estimated annual energy savings—whoa! The life expectancy is estimated at 13.7 years for this improvement. A 10 year payback term is being proposed at 4% interest. This will result in an annual assessment payment of roughly $1,037 for the PACE financing.

Robin Weis, Economic Development Director with the Southwest Regional Development Commission, steered the PACE project to completion. “The building owners (of Main Street Repeats) were educated about the various LED options and chose the best lighting to showcase their merchandise,” she noted.

Project Snapshot:

  • Location: Main Street Repeats, Good Thunder, MN – Blue Earth County
  • Description: Updated interior lighting to LEDs
  • Useful Life: 13.7 years
  • PACE Loan Term: 10 years– 4% interest
  • Project Costs: $9,980 – $1,728 Xcel Energy rebate = $8,252
  • Annual Energy Savings: 1,9429 kWh
  • Savings Per Year: $2,215 for 13.7 years
  • Annual Payments: $1,036 for 10 years
  • Annual Net Savings: $1,178 for 10 years
  • Total Net Savings: $1,1784 over loan term + $8,195 over remaining useful life of 3.7 years = $19,979

*Total Net Savings is calculated by multiplying the useful life of the improvement by the estimated annual savings, then subtracting the cost for materials, installation, and interest over the term of the assessment.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the buildings of commercial property owners.

Energy-saving measures pursued by the owners receive project financing and are repaid as a separate item on their property tax assessment for a set period. PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

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    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission