How does the PACE program work?

Texas finds its PACE when it comes to water efficiency

Water and financial savings are adding up across Texas as more property owners and developers use PACE Financing for water-efficient upgrades inside and outside their buildings.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program has now financed six projects that are in the works in the Dallas, Central Texas and Houston areas. While the Simon Property Group is leading the way with five projects, more than any other group in Texas, Alterra International recently closed the largest PACE-financed project in Texas with their renovation and redevelopment of the Butler Brothers Building in downtown Dallas. The Simon Property Group PACE projects include the Barton Creek Square Mall in Austin, Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park, the Round Rock Premium Outlets, and Houston Premium Outlets.

Numbers to know: PACE Financing savings in Texas
Indoor Water & Financial Savings
8,173,000 Gallons
$91,007 per year
Outdoor Water & Financial Savings
7,478,000 Gallons
$90,323 per year
Total Water & Financial Savings
15,651,000 Gallons
$181,330 per year


The Butler Brothers Building PACE Project: Historic Renovation and Redevelopment

Dallas, Texas

Alterra International utilized the Dallas’ Commercial PACE or C-PACE program to finance both energy-efficient and water-efficient upgrades, including water-saving plumbing and irrigation measures. Originally built in 1910, the downtown Dallas property underwent a $120 million redevelopment, $23.9 million of which came from PACE financing. The nine-story, 510,000- square-foot mercantile warehouse known as the Butler Brothers Building has been redeveloped into 238 apartments, a 274-room hotel, 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 11,000 square feet of office space.

“PACE loans pair incredibly well with historic buildings that are typically energy inefficient and require additional capital in order to renovate the property to modern energy efficiency standards,” Phill Geheb of Munsch Hardt said in a statement. “In my practice, I am beginning to see greater interest in the utilization of this program for historic and non-historic renovation projects because of its flexibility, relative low-cost and non-recourse nature.”

Photo courtesy of Dallas Public Library
Source: Texas Historical Commission

“This specific loan will aid in constructing energy-efficient systems and implementing water reduction technology,” according to law firm Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC. “The updates will improve the property value and enable the owner of the project to lower the overall first lien loan for the project.”

Simon Property Group PACE Projects: Energy- and Water-Efficient Upgrades

Hays, Williamson, and Travis Counties, City of Houston

Thanks to the Simon Property Group’s commitment to sustainability, Simon Malls leads the way in the number of PACE projects financed throughout Texas with their Premium Outlets in Central Texas and Houston.

“Hays County created a PACE program to help our businesses lower their operating costs with energy and water saving updates that benefit all of our citizens,” says Hays County Judge Bert Cobb.

“Houston is the energy capital of the world and has a responsibility to lead by example and use our energy resources as efficiently as possible,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We created the Houston PACE program to help Houston businesses access low-cost financing and lower their utility bills. We’re thrilled our first PACE project is at the Houston Premium Outlets and we hope more businesses will follow their lead.”


Counties and cities alike are now more than ever interested in promoting sustainability as a way of life, especially as more people understand the financial savings and community benefits that come with this effort. An investment in water efficiency is an investment in the future of our state’s economy, wildlife and the water that sustains us all.


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