Running a Shop Finance Law

New Funding Available for Auto Shops to Go Green

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Dec. 2, 2014—GRC-Pirk Management, the consulting firm for the national Green Garage public search engine, announced Monday is has secured $30 million in funding for auto shops to “go green.”

The funding enables automotive business owners to improve energy efficiency, promote business and add equipment based on projected savings without having to increase their cost of doing business.

The Green Garage Challenge campaign recently launched a program known as Reverse Utility Financing (RUF) as an alternative to the “red tape” required under the government Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program.

The amount of PACE financing borrowed by a shop owner is typically repaid via a special assessment on property taxes, or another locally-collected tax or bill, such as a utility bill. Auto shop owners that opt into the PACE financing program are subject to a special property assessment. However, shop owners that opt into RUF financing program need only get certified “green” to receive funding. In addition to reducing the upfront costs, both programs are tied to the cost of an energy efficiency project to be paid back over a pre-qualified period of time.

“State laws authorizing financing for green projects has spread rapidly. Thirty-two of the 50 states in the U.S. now require energy usage disclosure and green certification for PACE financing,” Jenni Bishop, CFO of GRC-Pirk Management, said in a release. “In 2012, California launched a massive PACE program that, at its inception, allowed non-residential property owners in 126 cities and 14 counties to finance energy and water-efficiency projects.”

During the last two years, thousands of small business owners have signed up for the ENERGY STAR small business partnership program to improve energy efficiency by 10 percent or more. It's still early for many shop owners, but loan approval rates through the Green Garage Challenge campaign are five to seven times the national approval rate, which hovers around 10 percent, according to the Small Business Administration.

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