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By Meghan Prisuta • May 17, 2019

Chester County Votes Unanimously to Implement Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)

On May 15th 2019, our very own Chester County voted unanimously to pass the resolution establishing Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE).  C-PACE is a financial solution that allows commercial property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects. 

Nationally, half a billion dollars has been invested through C-PACE loans, and many industry experts expect that number to double in the next few years. In Pennsylvania, C-PACE investment could help retrofit one of the nation’s oldest building stocks and accelerate growth in a local energy efficiency industry that already accounts for 65,000 jobs and counting.

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C-PACE AT A GLANCE
 
  • Up To 100% Funding: C-PACE can provide up to 100% up-front private capital for commercial clean energy and energy efficiency commercial projects.
  • Attached to the Property: A C-PACE lien is attached to a property, making the loan a very secure form of financing. The lien transfers upon sale of the building to the new property owner.
  • Used for Existing Buildings and New Construction: In PA, C-PACE can be used for existing buildings and new construction of commercial, industrial and non-profit properties. 
  • Example Projects:
    • Energy Efficiency: LED Lighting and/or lighting controls, HVAC Upgrades, high efficiency chillers, boilers, heat pumps, hot water systems, building envelope improvements
    • Renewable Energy: Geothermal energy, photovoltaic power, solar thermal, wind power, fuel cell, methane gas from landfills
    • Water Conservation: New faucets or toilets with low flow options, new laundry equipment, processes or equipment that demonstrate water savings of 25% or more.
DOES MY PROJECT QUALIFY FOR C-PACE?

*This is a non-exhaustive list. Property owners will need to apply with the Program Administrator to ensure their project meets Program Guidelines.

 

C-PACE SET UP PROCESS

C-PACE is a voluntary program that must first be adopted by the state. In  the case of PA, this was  enabled in the Summer of 2018 through Act 30. From there, it must be adopted by local government (whether that be county or municipality). The local government must pass a resolution in order for C-PACE to to be established in their community. 

On May 15, 2019, Chester County voted (unanimously) to pass the resolution establishing C-PACE. It is the first of Philadelphia's "collar counties" to  move forward with C-PACE. Chester County contains 73 municipalities consisting of 57 townships, 15 boroughs and one city.

 

C-PACE PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

A C-PACE program is run by an administrator, which can be either the local government itself or, more commonly, a third-party non-profit organization. The administrator facilitates C-PACE financing by connecting project developers to qualified contractors and lenders, as well as coordinating remittance of the loan from the property tax bill back to the C-PACE lender.

Sustainable Energy Fund, located in Schnecksville, PA,  has openly offered to act as the Program Administrator for any local government in the Commonwealth of PA  - providing a turn-key C-PACE program administration platform that can be adopted at no cost to the county. 

 

HOW TO  APPLY FOR A C-PACE LOAN

  1. Property Owner submits a pre-application that is reviewed by the Program Administrator for general eligibility 
  2. Property Owner works with an engineering firm or other energy services company to evaluate the energy and water use of the property to develop an energy efficiency or clean energy project
  3. Property Owner selects a private capital provider/lender and quality contractor. The property owner and capital provider develop mutually agreeable repayment terms.
  4. Property Owner submits a final application to ensure the improvement project(s) meets the Program Guidelines.
  5. Close financing and record Assessment Contract and Bond Agreement
  6. Project Implementation

 

NEXT STEPS

Not sure where to start? Interested to see if your project qualifies for C-PACE? Contact us for help!

EffectivEnergy Solutions is a full service engineering firm specializing in energy conservation, renewable energy and sustainability. If you have questions about C-PACE or would like to take advantage of C-PACE financing, please contact us using the link below. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT C-PACE

 

Sources: 

Sustainable Energy Fund

Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance 

US Department of Energy