News Release

For immediate release

November 17, 2017


Ygrene Receives Community Partner Award from MOKAN Construction Assistance Center


Ygrene recognized for work with St. Louis' minority business community at the 43rd Annual MOKAN Awards Dinner on November 17, 2017.


St. Louis (BUSINESS WIRE)—Ygrene Energy Fund, a national leader in resiliency and clean energy financing, today received the Community Partner Award from MOKAN Construction Contractors Assistance Center, a leader in advancing opportunities for minority and female businesses within the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The award highlights Ygrene’s efforts to connect minority businesses with access to stronger energy-contract job opportunities, particularly its community-based partnership with MOKAN and the city’s clean-energy financing program, Set the PACE St. Louis.
"Set the PACE St. Louis has demonstrated tremendous support for minority and women contractors through its inclusion scholarship initiative," said Yaphett El-Amin, Executive Director of MOKAN. "This partnership and expanded inclusion initiative will provide an opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses and workers to gain access to financing for energy efficiency projects, expanding access to these services for low income communities."
The Community Partner Award was awarded at the 43rd Annual MOKAN Awards Dinner, an event designed to bring together public, private and non-profit industry stakeholders and expose minority business owners and workers to the region’s top industries, with a primary focus on expanding capacity building and workforce opportunities.
“We’re honored to receive this award from MOKAN because it reflects Ygrene’s work and company values,” said Byron DeLear, Managing Director & Central Regional Executive for Ygrene. “Specifically, Set the PACE St. Louis has been an effective platform to help minority contractors succeed in the home performance and clean-energy environment. We look forward to seeing Ygrene, and the role of PACE, grow within the region through the partnerships we’ve established.”

Ygrene recently acquired Missouri-based Energy Equity Funding (EEF), the property assessed clean energy administrator, which oversees Set the PACE St. Louis and the Missouri Energy Savings Program for St. Louis County. The former launched in 2013 with the goal of offering innovative financing solutions for City of St. Louis property owners to perform energy efficiency and renewable energy property upgrades. The program has completed some of the largest commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) projects in the nation, including comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades on historic buildings and redevelopment of underutilized properties and vacant buildings to help revitalize the region’s urban core. St. Louis County’s Missouri Energy Savings Program, or “MO-ESP,” launched earlier this year.
Exceeding $4 billion in project funding nationally, PACE financing has grown in its appeal due to a track record of attracting private capital (as opposed to taxpayer funds) to power one of the most successful public policy and local economic development initiatives in the United States.
About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund is a national leader in residential and commercial clean energy financing. Founded in 2010, Ygrene’s award-winning, privately funded Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is revolutionizing the home improvement industry, making it easier for property owners to invest in their futures and a healthier environment. Ygrene is delivering greater choice for home and business owners by providing accessible and affordable financing for energy efficiency, renewables, water conservation, storm protection and seismic upgrades. Recognized as one of the fastest growing asset classes in the country, PACE has proven to be a successful tool for supporting public policy initiatives, all without the use of public tax dollars or credits. To date, Ygrene has provided over $1 billion of private capital to more than 400 local communities, creating thousands of jobs and investing millions into local economies across the U.S. Learn more at
Since 1974, MOKAN has been a leader in advancing opportunities of growth for minority and female businesses within the St. Louis Metropolitan area. MOKAN in 2010, launched the MOKAN Institute through a collaborative partnership with St. Louis Community College. In 2012 MOKAN expanded its facilities to 4666 Natural Bridge which is now known as the MOKAN Business and Educational Center. Through this expansion MOKAN has continued to not only service the needs of the minority construction community but has expanded its services to other minority businesses and workers.
Media Contacts:
Ygrene Energy Fund
Joaquin McPeek, 916.599.4166
Sloane Company
Amanda Coyle, 212.446.1867


Public News Service

October 3, 2016


Missouri is Most-Improved State for

Energy Efficiency


Missouri's PACE programs are getting some credit for the state's progress in

moving toward green energy and power savings.


ST. LOUIS – Missouri has made some big strides in saving electricity. The latest report card from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks Missouri 32nd among the states, up 12 spots from 2015.
Kristy Manning, director of the Missouri Department of Energy, said as part of the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan, states are encouraged to select energy efficiency as a way to meet goals set by the federal government.
"With just some thoughtful planning, it's not hard for a state to start making some real progress and advancement in these areas," said Manning. "But it does require some strategic planning and thoughtfulness in how to approach it, and how to do it most meaningfully."
Missouri was praised for its Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE). It allows property owners to apply for financing to make energy-saving upgrades, like adding insulation, storm windows and doors, LED lighting and upgrades to heating and cooling systems. The money is paid back over 20 years.

Current legislative candidate Byron DeLear administers "Set the Pace St. Louis" and started the St. Louis County PACE Program. He explained that PACE works by keeping the monthly payments low enough that they're offset by money saved on the retrofits.


DeLear cited the Missouri Athletic Club as an example—which, last year, was the second-largest PACE project in the nation.


"The Missouri Athletic Club was the first building west of the Mississippi to have air conditioning; it still had the original air handlers in it," said DeLear. "On the first year after the energy-efficiency measures were performed on the property, the Missouri Athletic Club is saving $205,000."


Carolyn Amparan, chair of the Sierra Club's Osage Chapter based in Columbia, Mo., noted that her city has made improvements to save energy in business and residential construction. She thinks that needs to happen statewide.


"Getting more municipalities and counties to adopt the codes would be an excellent step forward," said Amparan. "And then, the utilities in the state could do more as well. Some of them are really exceptional, like ours here in Columbia, but others have not really invested in energy-efficiency programs as much as they could."


The report card notes Missouri is the most-improved state in the nation this year in terms of energy efficiency.



St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune
By Byron DeLear and Tim Murray
May 11, 2016


Missouri Leads Midwest in Clean-Energy Job Growth; Expansion Set to Continue


One brilliant economic success story for Missouri is the fact that we are currently enjoying the highest clean-energy job growth in the Midwest. According to a recent report based on U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, 52,000 Missourians work in clean-energy with 13,000 workers added in the past year alone. The growth rate of 8.3% is the highest among all 12 states in the region. Good news is, due to the launch of new clean-energy programs and the expansion of existing ones in our state, job opportunities in this sector will continue to increase at an accelerated pace.


“Bottom line is folks are saving money on their energy bills and this is the real driver of growth,” said Tom Appelbaum of Energy Equity Funding, LLC. Energy Equity Funding administers several clean-energy programs in the Midwest including “Set the PACE St. Louis” which provides 100% up-front financing for energy improvements for property owners. “The financing under the program is paid back as a voluntary special assessment and is available at longer terms than traditional loans,” added Appelbaum. “For participating property owners, this creates a net-positive cash-flow due to lower utility costs and other savings.”


Energy-efficiency is the largest portion of Missouri's clean-energy workforce at nearly three-quarters of all jobs in the state. 45% of the workforce is located in the metropolitan St. Louis region.


One of the most successful projects in the nation for 2015 was the $2.4mm comprehensive energy-retrofit on the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Downtown Clubhouse. The iconic city landmark was the first building to have air conditioning west of Mississippi, and post-upgrade, will save more than $200,000 its first year.  By year twenty, the MAC's new facilities will be generating $362,000 a year in savings.


“This piece makes great sense for us,” stated MAC General Manager Wally Smith. “These systems will be working for 20 or 30 years down the road and set the club up for the future—and without any out-of-pocket costs for us? It’s really a no-brainer.”


On the MAC project, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 teamed-up with general contractor Trane and worked 800 man hours supplied by four electrical contractors: Kaemmerlen Electric, Aschinger Electric, Electric Mechanics, and Temperature Control Solutions.


“We absolutely recognize the environmental, economic, and social value of clean-energy and are excited to work on touchstone projects like the MAC,” said Doug Martin of the National Electrical Contractors Association. “Our affiliated contractors provided the electrical portion for the energy efficient upgrades to the Heating and Air Conditioning System along with the lighting retrofit.  Savings are generated in a number of ways including utilizing programmable set points on thermostats, providing ‘demand’ lighting, and load shedding.


Clean-energy property retrofits create good-paying, American jobs that can't be outsourced. Occupations such as pipefitters, electricians, insulators, and laborers all play a role in completing these projects. Additionally, 90% of the products associated with energy-efficiency, such as insulation, caulking, and weather stripping, are made in the U.S.A.


The IBEW, the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, and the National Electrical Contractors Association have developed some of the most advanced green-jobs training programs and facilities in the United States, and have invested more than $140 million in renewable energy training.


Since 1941, IBEW training centers have been educating electricians on all modern electrical needs. They possess state-of-the-art green training equipment, including solar arrays, wind turbines, and programmable logic controllers.


The St. Louis Building and Construction Trades, of which the IBEW Local 1 is a member, has recently signed a St. Louis Clean-Energy Workforce Agreement for the City and County which is unique in the United States.


“We will coordinate our exclusive BUD (Building Union Diversity) program with the City and County’s PACE programs to include specific educational materials and training associated with developing careers in clean-energy,” said Jeff Aboussie, Secretary for the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades.


“The BUD program is only one way in which Set the PACE St. Louis and the County’s new PACE program will be focusing on community inclusion—providing opportunities for minorities and women as well as existing journeymen to become apprentices with participating unions to learn the skills allowing them to employable for the rest of their lives.”


Community workforce agreements are a fundamental part of revitalization and renewal efforts for our region—and when coupled with the transformative movement occurring in clean-energy—revenue neutral initiatives like PACE-financing can actually begin to address larger issues such as climate pollution while also advancing economic interests.


In the upcoming national contest for the Presidency, climate change will undoubtedly play a critical role for voters as the likely Democratic and Republican nominees couldn't offer a more stark contrast. America, as the prime industrial mover, has a moral responsibility to lead on the shift toward clean-energy; and, in an ironic twist, Missouri, in terms of growth, is actually at the head of the pack.


Byron DeLear is a program administrator for Set the PACE St. Louis and a candidate for Missouri State Representative. Tim Murray is a Business Representative for the IBEW in the St. Louis jurisdiction and an officer on the IBEW Local 1 Executive Board.

Latest News

Missouri Energy Savings Program (MO-ESP)

1520 S. 2nd Street

St. Louis, MO 63104