Meet Upasana, a key partner in the County’s PACE program

October 27, 2016
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Montgomery County passed Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing for commercial buildings in March 2015. The County has partnered with Urban Ingenuity to spearhead the CivicPACE offering for nonprofits, congregations, and affordable housing and educate regional lenders about PACE financing. Meet Upasana Kaku, Senior Analyst with Urban Ingenuity, who is helping our nonprofits and lenders navigate the ins-and-outs of the County’s PACE program.


What is your role with Urban Ingenuity?

Photo of Upasana Kaku

Upasana Kaku, Senior Analyst with Urban Ingenuity

I do a lot of our project development, working with property owners and contractors to help them put together PACE projects and get the financing arranged. I love doing the hands-on work of pulling all the pieces together and getting projects across the finish line.

What did you do before coming to UI?

I was at a consulting company, working with businesses in the clean energy and energy efficiency industries and helping them enter new markets.

In your opinion, what is the most exciting element of PACE financing in Montgomery County?

Urban Ingenuity administers the DC PACE program, and it’s been wonderful to see how PACE has begun helping building owners across the District (where I live) over the past couple of years.

I grew up in Montgomery County, so the opportunity to help bring CivicPACE—an amazing financing tool for nonprofits and civic institutions—to my own hometown is really exciting. Plus, I think the County has a lot of businesses that care about reducing their impact on the environment. PACE offers a way to be greener while also saving money and investing in better infrastructure.

What advice would you give to building owners considering PACE financing?

Don’t wait too long! The PACE market in Montgomery County is booming, and the County offers early adopters of PACE additional recognition opportunities. If you have a project in mind that saves energy or water, or expands the use of renewable energy, visit the program website and see how PACE can help get your project off the ground.

Urban Ingenuity Logo

What do you see on the horizon for PACE programs in the region? What’s next?

We’re excited to see Montgomery County take such a leadership role in bringing PACE into Maryland, and look forward to finding opportunities for collaboration across the DC, Montgomery County, and other to-be-established PACE programs to create a broader regional market for the DMV, and make life easier for property owners and contractors who want to use PACE across projects in DC, MD, and VA.


solar panels in Washington DC

DC’s first PACE project, solar panels installed on multifamily housing in Southeast Washington DC


There’s more to life than PACE – Tell us about yourself!

When you’re not working with nonprofits and lenders on PACE projects, what do you like to do?

Cook elaborate meals, binge-watch Netflix, and explore the parks and breweries of DC and Maryland.

Choose three words to describe yourself:

Dedicated, cheerful, welcoming.

Besides Montgomery County, where is your favorite place to visit?

Montgomery County (specifically, the house where I grew up in Silver Spring, and where my parents and our now very-old dog still live) is definitely the place I visit most often! But since that’s off the table, I’ll say anywhere I get to see friends or family.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation, definitely.


This is our fifth post in our “Meet the People of PACE” series [previous posts introduce Jessica, DrewJohn, and Gerard]. To learn more about the County’s Commercial PACE Program, visit our website or sign-up for DEP’s Benchmarking/Commercial News.

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