Tampa Bay Business Journal: St. Pete clean energy company draws California buyer

October 1, 2015
An Oakland, California clean energy finance company has set its sights on expansion in Florida. The company, Renew Financial, expects the acquisition of EcoCity Partners in St. Petersburg will help it replicate the success it has had in California. EcoCity Partners administers the Florida Green Energy Works program, which is a loan program for the national Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. PACE lets property owners finance the entire cost of energy and water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their homes and businesses and then repay those costs on their property tax bill. Nationwide, PACE has funded about $1 billion in projects, half of that in California. In Florida, the Florida Bankers Association has raised concerns that PACE liens would be paid before mortgages, according to the Sun Sentinel. That concern was addressed last month when the Federal Housing Administration announced new guidance that requires PACE liens to be subordinate to FHA single-family first-mortgage financing, Greentech Media reported. The deal with EcoCity Partners lets Renew Financial scale its PACE offerings in Florida, Cisco DeVries, Renew's CEO, said in a statement. "We expect the integration to be smooth and us to greatly enhance the PACE experience in Florida very shortly," DeVries said. Financial terms were not disclosed. Two EcoCity principals, Amy Elliot and Maureen Eppley, along with Erin Deady, will join Renew Financial. A third principal, Michael Wallander, will shift his focus to Demeter Power, a company he founded that provides no-money-down solar financing for small to mid-sized businesses. Demeter Power will license its commercial PACE underwriting software to Renew Financial, the statement said. Originally published in Tampa Bay Business Journal.