What is C-PACE?

C-PACE 101

C-PACE stands for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, and the name explains the concept well at a high level.

This version of PACE is used on real property, commercial and large multi-family, depending on the program. Generally, in order to use C-PACE, at a minimum, there needs to be a physical structure permanently affixed to a piece of property. Although there are additions and exceptions around the country, every program allows C-PACE financing to be used for upgrades to the property that reduce its energy consumption requirements in some way, or that generate energy.

The main characteristic that differentiates C-PACE from other financing methods available to property owners is that this “loan” is placed as a lien on the property tax assessment. Among other advantages, this means that C-PACE financing runs with the land and therefore does not accelerate or become due upon sale. This mechanism also allows for long-term financing, often at fixed rates.

C-PACE – Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy – is an innovative clean energy financing tool that provides 100% upfront capital to property owners who want to upgrade their commercial and multi-family buildings with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water management systems.

 

Check out the ‘What is PACE Financing?’ video below for further explanation on how PACE works!

Check out C-PACE in Virginia!

Who can use C-PACE?

To date, all localities that have enabled C-PACE have allowed its use on all commercial properties, with some exceptions. Commercial properties with respect to C-PACE include all office, retail, industrial, multi-family residential (with greater than four units), and most special use or not easily categorized properties. Non-profit owners can typically qualify if they are able to receive special assessments on their property such as stormwater charges.

In Virginia, C-PACE is allowed on multifamily properties with more than four units. Condominium complexes – both common areas and individual units – are currently excluded by state law.

C-PACE can be used for both retrofit of existing buildings or for a portion of new construction projects.

For additional information download our printable FAQs.

Where is C-PACE available?

C-PACE is available where the government entity has the legal authority to initiate a C-PACE program and place a special assessment C-PACE lien on participating properties. For commercial and multifamily properties, C-PACE financing is available in more than 1,000 municipalities across the country with enabling legislation in 37 states plus the District of Columbia. C-PACE has provided $15.8 billion in economic impact with over 282,000 projects completed!

Both for-profit and non-profit companies are emerging to provide administrative, marketing, and financing services on behalf of local governments. In Virginia, C-PACE is available in Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, the Town of Dumfries, the City of Fredericksburg, and the City of Petersburg. Additional programs anticipated in 2020 include the City of Roanoke, Norfolk and Lynchburg.

The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council has a very informative video about C-PACE in Virginia found here.

To learn about the evolution of C-PACE in the Mid-Atlantic, click here!

For additional information download our printable FAQs.

How can I learn more about C-PACE?

You can find out more about C-PACE in Virginia by reaching out to us or reading our toolkit, which we co-wrote as part of our work in the MidAtlantic PACE Alliance.

We also recommend that you visit the PACE Nation website. PACE Nation is the leading industry group for PACE and has helped to advocate for PACE and coordinate national efforts since the early days of PACE.

For additional information download our printable FAQs, or watch this video about C-PACE in Virginia by the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council!

What types of properties are eligible?

A wide variety of building types are eligible such as:

  • Office
  • Retail
  • Warehouse
  • Industrial
  • Data centers
  • Multifamily residential (5 or more units)
  • Hotels and motels
  • Conference facilities
  • Healthcare and labs
  • Private educational facilities
  • Agricultural facilities
  • Sports and Entertainment

In addition, facilities that can receive assessments on their properties such as non-profit educational and religious institutions are eligible.

In Virginia, single-family residential, multifamily residential (less than five units), and condominiums are not eligible.

Examples of eligible measures are those that are permanently affixed to the property, as the improvements “run with the land”.

A wide variety of improvements to buildings and land are eligible such as:

Energy Efficiency

  • Lighting Upgrades
  • HVAC equipment
  • Building controls
  • Building Envelope
  • Elevator/escalator upgrades
  • Hot water boilers
  • Energy recovery systems
  • Pool Pumps and hot water boilers
  • Battery storage with PV
  • Biomass technologies
  • Cogeneration (CHP)
  • Fuel Cells
  • Wind turbines
  • E.V. charging stations

Renewable Energy

  • Solar Thermal hot water
  • Photovoltaic (PV) systems
  • Battery storage with PV
  • Biomass technologies
  • Cogeneration (CHP)
  • Fuel Cells
  • Wind turbines
  • E.V. charging stations

Resiliency/Storm water

  • Flood Vents
  • Floating Foundations
  • Hurricane Shutters
  • Reinforced Roofing Systems
  • Thermal Protection Insulation
  • Sea Walls
  • Sump Pumps
  • Wet and Dry Flood Proofing
  • Emergency Generators
  • Infrastructure to Raise Equipment above 3-foot Freeboard
  • Green Roofs / Blue Roofs
  • Previous Pavement
  • Rainwater Capturing Systems

Water Conservation

  • Water conserving fixtures
  • Gray water systems
  • Cooling tower water recovery
  • Water meters
  • Process Water Use Reduction
  • Irrigation control system
  • Rain harvesting system

For additional information download our printable FAQs.

For Property Owners

Property owners interested in learning more about C-PACE can find further information via our “For Property Owners” pdf here.

For additional details download our printable FAQs.

For Contractors

Contractors interested in learning more about C-PACE can find further information via our “For Contractors” pdf here.

For additional details download our printable FAQs.

To register as a contractor, visit our Project Center for Loudoun County, Fairfax County, or the City of Petersburg, or see Contractor Registration directly.

For Local Government

Representatives and officials interested in learning more about C-PACE can find further information via our “For Local Governments” pdf here.

For additional details download our printable FAQs.

For Capital Providers

Lenders interested in learning more about C-PACE can find further information via our “For Lenders” pdf here.

For additional details download our printable FAQs.