Montgomery County passed Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing for commercial buildings in March 2015, and we’ve enlisted PACE Financial Servicing to manage the County’s PACE program. Meet Gerard Neely, Manager of Maryland’s Commercial PACE Program with PACE Financial Servicing, who is the County’s “boots on the ground” of the PACE program.
As manager of Maryland’s Commercial PACE program, I wear many hats. My core responsibility is to liaise between Montgomery County staff and stakeholders accessing the program –energy contractors, building owners, and capital providers – to help them prepare and submit their PACE applications to Montgomery County for approval. Also, I discuss PACE financing with property owners and contractors interested in the program and build momentum for the program in Montgomery County. While no day is ever the same, I very much enjoy talking with various stakeholders building excitement about PACE in the County.
Prior to PFS, I worked for Nextility, a solar development and energy brokerage firm in Washington, DC. During my time at Nextility, I helped small businesses and property owners save money on their electricity and natural gas bills by taking advantage of energy deregulation. Additionally, I helped Nextility navigate regulatory issues in the deregulated energy marketplace. Prior to Nextility, I had the privilege to work for the UK Parliament and their efforts in reforming their electricity markets to reduce energy costs for consumers. Finally, I began my career in the world of local and state politics. Previously, I worked and volunteered on several congressional campaigns around the state of Maryland.
The most exciting element of PACE in Montgomery County is its ability to remove barriers to accessing capital for energy savings measures for property owners who traditionally have struggled to secure financing. For example, at a national level, nonprofits and community-based organizations are the fast-growing submarket using PACE financing. While many of these organizations such as houses of worship and low-income multi-family housing have longed for these upgrades, they have lacked the funds to do so. Thanks to the leadership of Montgomery County, these organizations can now move forward with these upgrades though PACE financing.
I would encourage building owners to compare PACE’s cash flow benefits vis-a-vis other traditional avenues of financing. PACE is a unique, custom-tailored financing solution for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, and it really provides amazing benefits to commercial property owners that traditional financing mechanisms may not. Additionally, I would highly encourage buildings owners to reach out to email@example.com if they have any questions about starting the PACE process.
We continue to see increased interest in the program across the state and here in Montgomery County. In the County, I hope to see several projects completed by the time leaves begin to change this fall. In addition, I would look for several counties around Maryland to adopt the own PACE-enabling ordinances in the near future. It is an exciting time for PACE in the Free State!
My life revolves around sports and music. On the weekends, you’ll most likely find me up early watching English Primer League soccer (Come on Arsenal!). If I am not watching soccer or football, I am probably at a music venue in the DC/Montgomery County area.
Lively, Affable, Inquisitive
London (Islington—the home of the world famous Arsenal Football Club to be exact!)
I would love to have the ability to travel in time and see historical events in real-time.
This is our fourth post in our “Meet the People of PACE” series [previous posts introduce Jessica, Drew, and John]. To learn more about the County’s Commercial PACE Program, visit DEP’s PACE website or sign-up for DEP’s Energy News.