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Port Authority helping older Toledo buildings become more energy-efficient

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TOLEDO -- The Toledo Club showed off some new upgrades to their 99-year-old building during a special presentation Thursday. Some of the upgrades to the social clubâ??s facility include a new heating and cooling unit, new energy efficient lights and controls in some of the rooms, new energy efficient windows on the buildingâ??s west side, and a new high tech system to control the temperature in individual rooms throughout the club that can even be done remotely.According to the general manager of the Toledo Club, Roger Parker, the upgrades will help reduce utility costs by up to 20%, while also making the building more comfortable for their members. Parker says before the upgrades, some of the rooms would hit temperatures of 90 degrees during the summer, driving members away.The cost of the upgrades was more than $700,000, with the work contracted to GEM Energy. But the Toledo Club got help funding the project from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority through the agencyâ??s Better Buildings PACE program.PACE provides owners of buildings low interest financing to upgrade facilities with energy efficient equipment and technology. The Toledo Club was the 100th project financed by PACE in Lucas County, which in its 4 year history has provided $22 million in upfront funds.Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority President and CEO Paul Toth says the PACE program not only allows owners of older buildings a way to cut down on utility costs, but is also helping to create and support jobs in Lucas County. According to Toth, PACE has created the equivalent of 140 full time construction and special trade jobs needed to make the upgrades to selected facilities.We asked Toth why the port authority is the right agency to run such a program. He said the resources available allow the port authority to offer long term financing plans up to 15 years. Being able to issue long term debt makes projects like the one at the Toledo Club possible, according to Toth.According to a power point presentation provided to NBC 24 News from the port authority, an additional $20 million in financing is available next year for energy upgrade projects.


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