Author Archives: Joshua Myers

The Green Bank Is Hiring! Commercial Business Manager

Close Date: March 19, 2021

Submit Required Cover Letter and Resume to HR@mcgreenbank.org

The Green Bank is seeking a Commercial Business Manager (“Manager”) to help scale up clean energy investments across Montgomery County, MD in the commercial real estate (“CRE”) sector. This position is fundamental for the Green Bank to deliver financing for clean energy improvements of commercial and industrial properties throughout the County and aid these properties in achieving energy savings gained from those improvements. The work supported by this position is key to helping the County achieve its very ambitious goal of 0% greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

The position will focus on clean energy transactions, including for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, for commercial and industrial properties, including market rate and affordable multifamily, nonprofit, and common ownership properties.

The Green Bank employs many financing techniques to leverage its funds in partnership with other financial institutions to support clean energy finance. The Green Bank offers credit enhancement techniques, co-lending, and various other financing structures (such as Commercial-PACE) for flexible lending and investment to catalyze clean energy transactions and increase the private market capital investing in this sector.

To be successful, the candidate’s experience should include understanding of energy efficiency or clean energy financing as well as commercial real estate finance. Candidate must be familiar with the various investment strategies of debt, equity, subordinate debt, guarantees, and other credit enhancement mechanisms.

The position will be fundamental to the Green Bank’s work in CRE by:

  • executing market research to define market potential and outreach activities;
  • conducting outreach and education to users and market audiences;
  • advising end-users and contractors of financial strategies using Green Bank products;
  • identifying and managing a project pipeline through extensive outreach to owner, developer, and contractor communities;
  • developing financial structures for prospective projects;
  • negotiating and managing transactions;
  • presenting investments to credit committees with appropriate due diligence on counterparties and transactions;
  • managing the closing process; and
  • conducting asset and portfolio management in support of business operations.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Working with the Green Bank team, the Manager will be the principal party to market and close investments in the commercial and industrial sector, including market and affordable multifamily residential, nonprofit properties, including faith-based, and common ownership communities for the Green Bank.

The Manager will be responsible for meeting relationship, pipeline, and financing and energy savings production goals for the CRE activity of the Green Bank. Specifically, the Manager will be responsible for:

  • acting as an advisor to end-users and contractors of financial strategies for undertaking clean energy work and how Green Bank products and other resources, such as utility incentive programs, can help the end users achieve clean energy goals;
  • developing and managing relationships with financial partners, building owners, developers, energy contractors of commercial and industrial, residential, and clean energy developers serving Montgomery County, MD;
  • interacting with clients and institutional investors/lenders in the context of product / transaction execution process and new business development;
  • gathering and analyzing relevant market, product, and transaction-related data to identify project and partner opportunities;
  • developing and managing a pipeline of opportunities;
  • managing product / property, market, and counter-party due diligence;
  • conducting financial analyses and modeling, including product and transaction cash flow projections;
  • executing analyses that guide the decision-making process and provide actionable strategic recommendations;
  • developing term sheets and commitment letters and achieve internal approvals of such;
  • developing and recommending financing structures and alternatives to corporate decision making bodies
  • delivering final underwriting memorandum with appropriate due diligence on counterparties and transaction elements for credit committees;
  • working within a team framework to execute transactions;

o overseeing preparation of, and managing process for review and approval of all legal documents for programs, products, or transactions, and closing of products and transactions;
o oversee, in conjunction with Business Operations Manager, the management of the reporting on portfolio;
o Manage assets in portfolio; and
o other duties as needed.

Education

Minimum of bachelor’s degree in Real Estate, Finance, Accounting, Business, or other related field when paired with experience.

Experience, Skills and Abilities Required or Desired

To achieve the stated objectives, the Green Bank is looking for the following experience:

  • 5+ years of experience in commercial real estate, preferably with experience in commercial real estate finance. Experience in clean energy and/or energy efficiency and/or green building investments in the commercial real estate sector is desired.
  • Understanding of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvement economics and impact on property owners’ value assessment, property financing drivers and strategies.
  • Experience in direct outreach and engagement with property owner, managers, contractors, developers in the commercial and industrial sector related to property finance. Experience related to clean energy activities desired.
  • Demonstrated experience in building pipelines, managing relationships, and achieving positive outcomes for customer and employer.
  • Experience working in a metric driven production goals environment for financing.
  • Proven track record of underwriting and closing commercial loans, particularly in using a variety of financing structures in partnership with other financial partners and stand alone.
  • Ability to review real estate documents to determine if any issues exist and determine what could be a concern.
  • Strong research, analytical and problem-solving skills. Ability to analyze qualitative and quantitative information.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal quantitative, writing, and communication skills; able to interface with top level executives.
  • Strong proficiency with Excel, PowerPoint, and Word is required
  • Ability to multi-task in a team-oriented environment and work successfully under pressure while effectively managing time and workload with strong time management skills to prioritize deadlines
  • A desire to work within a collaborative, and ambitious professional and client facing environment
  • Attention to detail / thoroughness / focus / determination
  • Organized and prioritizes work.
  • Capable to work independently while possessing a team player attitude
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

The Green Bank is an “at-will,” equal opportunity employer. The Green Bank considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other legally protected status under local, state, or federal law.

COMPENSATION

Commensurate with position requirements experience and qualifications.
If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to HR@mcgreenbank.org by March 19, 2021.

You can download this position posting by clicking here. 

Solar PV – What is it and is it important?

Cindy McCabe – February 2021

If you have ever looked into getting a solar PV system, you may have heard or read about a concept called offset and you may have wondered what it means. Sometimes it’s referred to as the percentage that your electric bills will go down after a solar system is turned on. Let’s talk about solar offset, where the number comes from, and how it affects your home.

Solar PV offset is the estimated percentage of your home’s electricity need that will be produced by your solar system. Offset is used to give you an idea of what your electricity bills will look like after your solar system is installed and producing.

Many people want 100% offset for different reasons. Either they like the round number, they want to do something “all the way,” or they want to help the environment as much as they can. 100% offset is not common – it is the exception. Most residential homes in this area can get 20-35% offset. Remember, even if you get 100% offset you will still get charges on your utility bill because you have to at least pay the customer charge.

You may be wondering, why don’t we just fill up your roof with solar panels and sell any unused solar power back to the utility? You don’t make a net gain on selling overproduction to the utility on an annual basis. See my last blog on Net Metering for why that is.

So, let’s find your offset.

First, you look at a recent electric bill. There should be a chart showing you how much electricity you used over the last 12 or 24 months. Your solar installer will add up the last 12 months of your home’s electricity consumption. This number in kilowatt hours, or kWh, is the whole amount that will be offset by the solar energy.   An easy way to think about an offset is by thinking about a pizza pie. Before you slice the pizza, the whole pie is the amount of electricity that your home uses in an average year.

The next step is to determine how much solar electricity your solar system will produce. This can be limited by the amount of unobstructed space on your roof, the amount of shading you receive, the slope of your roof, and other factors. Your solar installer will size this for you.  Using this info, we cut up the pizza and we take away the slices that signify the electricity that will now be produced by your solar system. If 2 out of your 8 slices are now solar, your offset is 25%.

Now, this 25% could change.  No 12-month period of electricity consumption will be the same as the next. Your home electricity usage changes. On one hand, you might create a more efficient home with insulation or other measures; in which case your offset would increase.  On the other hand, you might add things to your home that pull electricity, like new pool pump, a jacuzzi, or an increased usage of electric space heaters. There could also be an increase in the number of people staying in the house, like we are seeing now. When your normal electricity consumption increases, your offset goes down.

On another note, many people want to put solar on a roof when they’ve just moved into a new home, and they may not have 12 months of electricity bills yet. In that case, your solar installer may ask you to wait until you have at least 3 months of bills in your new home and they will extrapolate the rest of the projected consumption.

In the end, any renewable offset to your current utility usage is a good thing.  Your solar system proposal should include this estimate. If you have more questions before or after installation, you should talk to your solar installer. Solar installers want you to be happy, satisfied customers.

Cindy McCabe is the Residential Solar Program Manager for the Montgomery County Green Bank. She has worked in the solar industry for the past six years with responsibilities including project management, solar system design, inspection coordination, site survey coordination, operations management, and sales. Cindy lives in Rockville, MD and considers herself an avid environmentalist.

Small Business Support Program In Montgomery County Update

The Green Bank’s Small Business Savings Support (SBESS) program was mentioned in the Montgomery County’s – “Montgomery Update” newsletter.

The article the newsletter links to cites the SBESS program as a “A flexible, affordable lending program to help small- and medium-sized Montgomery County businesses of 500 or fewer employers is available from the nonprofit Montgomery County Green Bank. Loans from the Green Bank can be used for improvements to indoor air systems that may be needed to reopen businesses that closed due to the COVID-19 health crisis.”

You can read the full article by clicking here. 

If you are interested in the Montgomery Update newsletter you can find the newsletter the Green Bank is cited in, along with a sign up form by clicking here. 

Notice of March 24, 2021 Board Meeting

Date: Wednesday March 24, 2021, 1:30-4:30 pm
Location: Teleconference

The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday March 24, 2021, 1:30-4:30 pm. The public is permitted to attend this meeting.  If you would like to be there, please RSVP in advance to info@mcgreenbank.org. The meeting agenda will be published when available.

Notice of May 5, 2021 Board Meeting

Date: Wednesday May 5, 2021, 1:30-4:30 pm
Location: Teleconference

The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday May 5, 2021  at 1:30 pm. The public is permitted to attend this meeting.  If you would like to be there, please RSVP in advance to info@mcgreenbank.org.  The agenda for the meeting will be published here prior to the meeting.

Small Business Program Supports Re-Opening Needs

The Montgomery County Green Bank offers a flexible, affordable lending product to support businesses in these challenging times.

The Small Business Energy Savings Support product helps businesses address needed indoor air quality adjustments for healthier workspaces, while lowering the operating costs from running inefficient systems.  Businesses can improve their spaces for employees, customers, and tenants with no out-of-pocket expenses, as well as take advantage of flexible repayment terms to help manage immediate cashflow needs.

The Small Business Energy Savings Support product supports:

  • Projects of $10,000 to $150,000
  • 100% financing
  • Terms up to five years
  • Interest rates of 3% to 5%
  • Repayment options including 6 months of interest only or three months of deferred payments.

The program is offered in partnership with City First Enterprises.

To learn more, visit the Montgomery County Green Bank website here.

Nova Solar: Helping Homeowners Reap the Savings of Solar

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Green Partners

Welcome to our Green Partners series, highlighting our partners in the community that help make Montgomery County Green Bank a success.

We talked with LB Kouchacji, Project Manager with Nova Solar, to learn about their latest successes and why they are proud to partner with the Montgomery County Green Bank.


Tell us about Nova Solar and your work there.

LB Kouchacji [LB]: Our mission at Nova Solar is to create sustainable, and cost effective energy solutions to help minimize financial, and environmental burdens on our communities. With over 15 years of experience in solar technologies and installations, we strive to bring the best value for top-quality service and materials to the Virginia, DC and Maryland areas. As a Project Manager, I have the privilege of working with many homeowners that want to save money and source their electricity usage from renewable energy. We assist homeowners in understanding how much energy can be produced from their solar system, how much it will cost (whether that be with our partner lender’s or as a cash purchase), and allowing them to sit back while we work out all of the permitting, homeowner association approvals, and interconnection steps.


What are the key decisions your customers make when moving a project forward?

LB: We walk our customers through important questions and decision points is they get a solar system that is right for them. Questions homeowners need to address include: Is my home an ideal candidate for solar? If exploring a roof-mounted solar system, do I need a new roof prior to going solar? Should I perform additional home energy efficiency upgrades such as windows, insulation, lighting to optimize my home’s solar use?


What’s something exciting you’re working on now?

LB: Along with grid-tied solar systems, we are looking forward to the ever-evolving energy storage solutions

(batteries + PV systems). Allowing homeowners to store the electricity they produce from their solar system, will give them flexibility when there is a grid outage. With the technology getting better and the prices coming down, it is becoming more of an incentive to add a battery to a solar system in this region.


What do they reflect on as most surprising / or rewarding when the work is completed?

LB: Homeowners are able to monitor their solar production via online monitoring software. Once homeowners realize that they are producing more electricity than their home is using with their solar system, it provides a sense of self-sufficiency. Another benefit is that they realize that solar has paid for itself generally halfway into the life of the system.


What are the top reasons your customers seek energy efficiency and / or renewable energy improvements?

LB: One reason homeowners seek solar projects is due to the financial savings that can be obtained by purchasing a solar system rather than pay the increasing utility rates in our region. Other homeowners are interested due to decreasing their carbon footprint by sourcing their electricity by a renewable energy source.


Why do you choose to partner with the MC Green Bank as an Authorized Contractor with the Clean Energy Advantage program?

LB: At Nova Solar, we want to provide our homeowners with options on how to purchase their solar system. We partner with Montgomery County Green Bank so that homeowners we’re working with in the County can obtain flexible financing options through the Clean Energy Advantage program at competitive rates compared to other lenders.

January 2020

Green Bank Annual Report Marks Gains Made Amid Challenges

 

The Montgomery County Green Bank’s new 2020 Annual Report highlights how the Green Bank’s low-cost financing programs helped businesses, condominium associations and nonprofit groups make needed energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements that saved money and energy.

Read about the Green Bank’s progress during a challenging, tumultuous 2020 by clicking here.

New Commercial Solar PPA Program: Financing Solution for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

January 26, 2021
For Immediate Release
Media contact: Tom Deyo, Montgomery County Green Bank Chief Executive Officer, at tdeyo@mcgreenbank.org

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND – The Montgomery County Green Bank is launching a new solar PV energy financing program for small businesses and nonprofit organizations that requires no out-of-pocket funding and offers long-term, lower monthly payments for electricity. The Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) financing program is being brought to market to help small businesses and nonprofits both save money during the current pandemic and lock in energy savings for decades to come.

The Commercial Solar PPA financing program helps property owners conserve energy and enjoy operating costs savings through the use of on-site solar energy generation rather than drawing power from the grid. The owners can install solar panels on their properties with no initial outlay of funding and then have lower operating costs for the solar generated electricity compared to grid produced electricity for 20 years.

The program is part of the Green Bank’s portfolio of financing products positioned to help businesses during the pandemic with strategies to address operating costs and health of properties.

Under the Commercial Solar PPA financing program, a solar developer works with a business to size an onsite rooftop solar PV system to meet the energy demand needs of the business. The developer and the business agree on a price to buy the generated solar PV energy by seeking PPA rates lower than those charged by local utilities for the same energy from the grid. The developer would then install the system, using a local installer contractor, at no upfront cost to the business. This Green Bank structure unlocks key benefits of both investment tax credit incentives and Green Bank special capital that together create the opportunity to offer favorable long-term PPA rates for the business, particularly for nonprofit businesses which cannot easily access the tax credit benefits.

“We know the importance of solar PV energy for both the environmental and operating benefits to businesses,” said Green Bank CEO Tom Deyo. “We kept hearing from organizations that they wanted to add solar PV to their properties but couldn’t move forward in the face of out-of-pocket costs or poor operating economics for a solar PV system. So, we looked to how our capital could be used to improve those economics and drive savings to nonprofits and commercial entities throughout the county.”

The Green Bank encourages interested businesses, nonprofits and contractors to reach out about the Commercial Solar PPA financing program. The program was particularly designed to work for smaller energy systems with as little as 25 kW in generation capacity.

About Montgomery County Green Bank
The Montgomery County Green Bank is a publicly chartered nonprofit dedicated to accelerating affordable energy efficiency and clean energy investment in Montgomery County, MD. We partner with the private sector to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusively prosperous, resilient, sustainable, and healthy community. Our work supports Montgomery County’s goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The Green Bank now offers a broad portfolio of affordable renewable energy and energy efficiency financing options for commercial and residential property improvements. Its suite of products include the Clean Energy Advantage program for homeowners and the Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program, the Small Business Energy Savings Support program, and the Commercial Solar PPA program for businesses.

Interested parties should also subscribe to the Green Bank’s newsletters to receive the latest updates on investment opportunities, contractor trainings, and program developments

For more information, visit www.mcgreenbank.org.

Net Metering Solar PV – How does it work and is it guaranteed?

Cindy McCabe – January 2021

Let’s start by going over the metering of electricity. All property that has wired electricity in Maryland, and in most of the continental U.S., has a meter to measure how much electricity is used so that you can be billed for it. These meters are owned by the utility company that provides the electricity to each building or unit. Most buildings and units now have smart meters installed, which allow the utility company to read the number of kilowatt hours, or kWh, that the structure has used in each billing period.

Now let’s talk about net metering. A net meter is a special type of smart meter that can count backwards. When you have a solar PV system installed, the utility company will come to your house to take off your old meter and replace it with a net meter. A net meter looks like a smart meter and can also be read remotely, however, not all smart meters are net meters.

When the sun rises, your solar system will start to generate

electricity and it will send that electricity directly to your electric panel. Whatever electric devices that you are using at the time will use that solar energy without you even noticing, and your solar inverter will keep count of the electricity that is produced.

If you need more electricity than your solar system is producing, your home will automatically pull electricity from the utility company, or the grid, and the number on your meter will increase, counting the number of kWh that you are using from the grid. Most homes with a solar PV system still need to pull electricity from the grid, especially at night.[1]

When your solar PV system produces more electricity than your home or business can use, the extra electricity will go through the net meter and back to the grid, causing your net meter to count backwards. Not only are you erasing previous grid electricity usage this way, but you are also helping to reduce the amount of electricity that needs to be generated by non-renewable sources of the utility company.

When you receive your monthly utility bill, there will be a solar generation table on it, showing the amount of solar energy that you generated. If you generated more solar energy than the total amount of grid electricity that you used in that billing period, you will have net metering credits. These credits are carried over month to month and usable as credits during each month until the end of the utility fiscal year, March 31st. At that time, any unused net metering credits will be converted to dollars at the supply rate listed on your bill.

The utility company’s buyback rate, however, is so much lower than the retail rate of electricity that you would not benefit financially from generating more energy than you can consume in a year. If you had a solar pv system that was larger than your need for electricity, you would be paying more to generate the energy than you would get paid back at the end of the fiscal year.

Net metering in Maryland is currently capped at 1,500 MW, which meaning that once 1,500 MW of solar PV is installed in the state, no additional solar customers would be allowed to sell excess solar generation back to the grid for credit. As of 2019, the state had reached approximately 754 MW.  The Maryland legislature is looking at increasing this cap, and you can read more about the new bill: Legislation SB0407 here. This increase will assist in supporting our households and the renewable energy sector across the state.

Cindy McCabe is the Residential Solar Program Manager for the Montgomery County Green Bank. She has worked in the solar industry for the past six years with responsibilities including project management, solar system design, inspection coordination, site survey coordination, operations management, and sales. Cindy lives in Rockville, MD and considers herself an avid environmentalist.

[1] With battery backup installed, the home could draw from battery power at night.

Residential Geothermal

Project Snapshot

Residential Geothermal

 

About the Building

Single-family home

Property Upgrade Summary

Installation of closed loop geothermal system with two loops and water furnace.

Geothermal heat pumps are considered a form of high efficiency heat pump. These systems rely on heat transfers between the air and the ground to provide heating and cooling to homes and buildings.

Green Bank Financing

General Project Cost: $35,000
Loan Product: Combo (Short Term and Long Term)
Short Term Loan:
Amount: $9,100*
Average APR: 5.50%
Term: 12 -18 months
Fees: No Financing Fees**
Monthly Payment: None. One-time payment of $9,850.75 due at term of loan and after receipt of previous year’s income tax credit.

*26% of Project Cost (Equivalent to the Federal Income Tax Credit).
**$25 Application Fee

Long Term Loan:
Amount: $25,900*
Average APR: 5.75%
Term: 12 or 15 Years
Fees: No Financing Fees**
Monthly Payment: $204.82

*74% of Project Cost
**$25 Application Fee plus ~$300 UCC1 Filling Fee.

Projected Annual Energy Savings

Conversion from Gas: 24,584 kWh (of equivalent heat & electricity)

Conversion from Electric: 9,275 kWh

About the Project

Stockbridge at Tanglewood Condominiums became the first local commercial entity to use a loan under the Small Business Energy Savings Support product to improve its operating budget and gain savings.  The Association worked closely with the Montgomery County Green Bank and City First Enterprises to secure a $44,000 loan.  New LED fixtures on the property are reducing energy consumption by 100,000 kWh per year and saving over $14,000 annually.  The contractor worked closely with Pepco to secure substantial incentives that help offset the costs of this project.

About Geothermal

A geothermal system is similar to a conventional heat pump heating and cooling system.  A conventional heat pump, also known as an air source heat pump, takes heat out of the air and moves it into the home in winter and out of the home in summer.  A geothermal heat pump, also known as a ground source heat pump, is a high efficiency type of heat pump which uses the earth’s stable temperature to heat and cool the home.  Geothermal systems have pipes that are buried in the ground in which a liquid is circulated through. The liquid transfers the heat from the earth and moves it into the house during winter and removes heat from the house and transfers it into the earth in the summer.

Financing Details

The Green Bank with City First Enterprises provided the capital necessary for the energy efficiency measures.

Total Cost for HVAC Replacement$35,000
Clean Energy Advantage Program Loan$35,000
Pepco Incentive$1,800
Maryland Energy Administration Incentive$3,000
Federal Income Tax Credit (26% of Project Cost)$9,100
Net Project Cost$21,100
Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The Montgomery County Green Bank’s small business program brought partner and the needed capital to support the Stockbridge project. The Green Bank works closely with the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities to help association boards execute on long term energy plans and financing strategies to be able to implement projects.

Solar PV Case Study

Project Snapshot

Solar PV Case Study

 

About the Building

Single-family, two story detached home located in Kensington, Maryland

Property Upgrade Summary

13.47kW Solar PV system

Projected Energy Savings

This solar PV system will produce more than 14,000 kilowatt hours per year of clean, renewable energy for the home with a projected savings of $1,960 in reduced electricity bills annually and will lower greenhouse gas emissions by 10.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide kept out of the atmosphere.

About the Project

The solar PV system consists of 49 Hanwa 320 Watt solar modules 15.68 kW with 49 Enphase IQ7-60-x-US microinverters and the state-of-the art Enphase remote monitoring platform.

Financing Details

The Clean Energy Credit Union, supported by the Green Bank under the Green Bank’s Clean Energy Advantage program, provided a loan to cover 74% of project costs to help finance the project. The owner will access federal income tax credits for about 26% of the solar project costs.

About Solar

Solar PV systems use a multitude of photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. When light shines on the PV cell, the components move rapidly and create electricity; and stronger sunlight creates more electricity. The energy that is created flows through wiring connected to the panels to an inverter or inverters, which change the energy from direct current to alternating current, which is the type of current used in homes and buildings. The energy from the inverter is connected to an electric fuse box or a dedicated set of breakers to power whatever appliances or electric loads are pulling electricity when the solar energy comes through. In most cases, the building will use the energy from the solar system primarily before using electricity from the utility grid. Any solar energy that the building does not need at the time will be send back to the utility grid and metered as negative usage for billing credits.

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The Green Bank is currently assisting many more customers in the County’s solar co-op program using the Green Bank’s Clean Energy Advantage program. The Clean Energy Advantage program provides 100% financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Montgomery County with competitive rates. Learn more about our Clean Energy Advantage program here.