Commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing saves energy and builds resiliency, while promoting economic development and private investment in commercial properties.
C-PACE Alliance is a nonprofit network committed to increasing the volume of quality C-PACE projects.
What is C-PACE Financing?
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is an alternative source of financing available for commercial properties (i.e., all properties excluding single-family dwellings). Property owners can use C-PACE financing to cover 100% of the costs of projects for energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy generation, and resiliency upgrades. No public dollars or taxpayer funds are used in C-PACE financing.
Property owners repay the financing through a special assessment that is added to their property tax bill. C-PACE assessments are totally voluntary. If the property owner sells the property, the balance of the assessment can remain with the property and seamlessly transfer to the new owner.
The advantages of C-PACE financing are:
- Financing for 100% of direct and indirect costs;
- Fixed interest rates;
- Up to 30+ years to repay;
- Secured by a property lien (not a personal guarantee); and
- Non-accelerable in the event of default.
In sum, C-PACE financing makes it easy for property owners to make improvements by eliminating upfront capital costs, providing competitive long-term financing for long-term capital improvements, and allowing property owners to transfer repayment obligations to a new owner upon sale.
C-PACE addresses a gap in the credit market for energy efficiency and resiliency projects. Investing in commercial properties to use renewable energy sources, to be energy efficient, to save water, and to be more resilient and sustainable makes economic sense and generates environmental benefits. Prior to C-PACE, the problem was that credit was not available based on traditional banking practices or the credit was too short-term to make financial sense, even for large businesses. C-PACE solves these issues by providing long term, fixed-rate credit that allows the cost savings to equal or exceed the debt service.
What kind of projects can use C-PACE Financing?
Property owners can use C-PACE to finance 100% of project costs related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and eligible resiliency. Items such as HVAC, efficient windows and doors, control systems, roofing, elevators, and solar panels can be paid with C-PACE. On an existing building retrofit, PACE can often cover 100% of the cost of a project. On new construction, C-PACE financing usually represents 25-35% of total project costs. Examples of projects that can use C-PACE:
- Completely modernizing a vacant Art Deco office building;
- Redeveloping an abandoned factory as a business incubator;
- Installing solar on an indoor soccer and recreational park; and
- Constructing a new hotel with high-efficiency windows and water conserving systems.