Three shopping centers owned by Simon Property Group—Barton Creek Square in Austin, Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park and Round Rock Premium Outlets—will be the first to install energy and water saving projects through an energy-efficiency program in Travis and Williamson counties.

Williamson County adopted the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE, in April, and Travis County adopted the program in March 2015, according to a news release from the Texas PACE Authority. The program allows nonprofit, commercial, industrial, multi-family and agricultural property owners to receive financing from a lender for energy-efficient projects and repay the lender through annual assessments to their property tax bill.

The Simon Property Group is the first business to utilize the PACE program in Texas and received $3 million in funding. Financing for the projects was provided by Petros PACE Finance of Austin.

“I am excited to see the PACE program working for Simon Properties. The program is a win for Simon and the community,” said Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long. “I look forward to seeing more businesses take advantage of the program.”

With the funding, Lakeline Mall and Round Rock Outlets will receive LED lighting and water conserving low-flow fixtures. Lakeline and Barton Creek will install heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC energy saving improvements, and Barton Creek Square will also receive LED lighting, according to the news release.

“These projects are exactly what we had in mind when the legislature created PACE,” said State Rep. Jim Keffer, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and author of the PACE bill, in the release. “The upgrades will save water and energy, improve the tax base in these communities, and provide long-term financing for the property owners. Truly a win-win-win for Texas.”

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