Lean & Green Michigan™ brings a break-through, shared-services model of economic development to Michigan's local governments.

Traditionally, in Michigan and around the country, municipalities had two ways to create PACE districts:

  • They could hire more staff to create and maintain the PACE district as part of the government.
  • They could hire a non-profit or for-profit entity to create and maintain a PACE district for them.

Either way, the local government faced significant financial and procedural hurdles. What is more, the only method municipalities had to fund property owners' PACE projects is by issuing bonds, which is a complex proposition.

Now, Lean & Green Michigan™ allows municipalities to create a PACE district at no cost, with no need for new government staff or lengthy RFP processes, with access to private capital -- and to do all of this cooperatively with other counties, cities and townships, building the regional economy. Consider:

  • To create a PACE district with Lean & Green Michigan™, a municipality simply votes to join by passing a local ordinance. There's no need to hire or train additional staff or go through lengthy RFP processes. What is more, Lean & Green Michigan™ can be tailored to incorporate the particular needs of each municipality.
  • Michigan's largest law firm and most experienced public finance counsel, Miller Canfield, serves as PACE counsel to municipalities that join Lean & Green Michigan™ with no charge to establish the PACE district. Legal fees, along with the cost of running Lean & Green Michigan™, are incorporated into the financing of each PACE project.
  • By joining Lean & Green Michigan™, municipalities allow their constituent property owners to gain access to banks and other sources of private capital that are part of the Lean & Green team.
  • Lean & Green Michigan™ represents the best kind of "shared services." Counties, cities and townships give up nothing, but by working together they create one statewide set of efficient and flexible PACE rules that really work for business, create the kind of common market that larger companies with multiple facilities need, save money, and avoid duplication and a blizzard of conflicting rules from place to place.


Traditional PACE District vs. Lean & Green Michigan™


  Go-it-Alone PACE District Lean & Green Michigan™
Start-up Municipality hires new staff or retains outside entity through RFP process Municipality simply votes to join Lean & Green Michigan™ via its normal legislative process
Cost to municipality Jurisdictions have paid anywhere from $150,000 to $750,000 to start a district None. The cost of running Lean & Green Michigan™ is incorporated into the financing of each deal
Legal Municipality must pay for legal counsel, whether inside or outside Miller Canfield serves as municipality's PACE counsel with no charge to establish the PACE district
Funding Municipality typically tries to issue "PACE bonds" to raise funds to finance property owners' energy projects. There is not a track record of success nationwide. Lean & Green Michigan™ allows municipalities to bond, but it brings significant private capital to the table to fund energy projects on a free market basis
Regional cooperation Each county, city or township creates its own rules and funding system, leading to a patchwork of districts that don't work together Counties, cities and townships join together to create one efficient system that works for small and big companies alike and attracts big banks by creating a large pool of projects to finance
Overall model Traditional model of each local government doing its own thing Public-private partnership where local governments, property owners, banks and contractors collaborate to create a large market for energy efficiency and renewable energy finance