C-PACE was enabled in the summer of 2018 to help commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties in the commonwealth become more energy and water efficient. Act 30 authorizes PA counties or municipalities with community or economic development departments to pass a local resolution and adopt guidelines for C-PACE.
In Pennsylvania, Act 30 specifically states:
- The program places a charge against the real property within a district which is levied and collected by the county or municipality that establishes the district.
- The financing can be public or private and include notes, mortgages, loans, deed of trust, refunding notes or other evidence of indebtedness.
- The program applies to a corporation, non-profit, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company or business trust.
- Qualifications for contractors and projects.
- Multifamily housing is explicitly excluded.
- Financial institutions holding liens, mortgages or security interest in the property must be given written notice and the institution is required to give written consent for the property owner to participate in the program.
- Posting requirements for each project participating in the program.
- The assessment is a first and prior lien against the real property.
- The lien is recorded with the title.
- The lien runs with the land and is not eliminated by foreclosure or property tax lien.
- Payment is enforced in the same manner as a property tax lien.
To facilitate the adoption of C-PACE in Pennsylvania, guidelines were developed to help define the “criteria and procedures” by the Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) and the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) with the assistance of the Pittsburgh Office of Sustainability and Philadelphia Energy Authority. Additionally, the group convened a statewide group of stakeholders and national consultants. There were more than 130 stakeholders represented during the guideline development process. The goal of these Pennsylvania C-PACE Program Guidelines is to achieve consistent guidelines statewide and maximize the C-PACE investment in local counties and municipalities.
SEF has partnered with KEEA and openly offered to act as the Program Administrator for any local unit of government in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a nonprofit, SEF provides any county of municipality opting into the program (outside of the city and county of Philadelphia) a uniform, turn-key C-PACE program administration platform that can be adopted at no cost to the County or Municipality. SEF offers a single point of access for Property Owners, Local Units of Government, Qualified Contractors, and C-PACE Capital Providers. The Program Administrator reviews and certifies projects that are eligible for C-PACE financing.
About Sustainable Energy Fund:
SEF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting energy users in overcoming financial, educational, and regulatory barriers to a sustainable energy future through a series of financial and educational programs. SEF was created as a result of a settlement during electric deregulation approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC). SEF’s Board of Directors and any changes to SEF’s bylaws are approved by the PA PUC, and SEF submits its annual financial audit and annual report to the PA PUC. SEF has been operating financial programs since its founding in 1999 and has participated in financing all or a portion of more than $100 million in projects throughout Pennsylvania. The SEF has financed project loans, lines of credit, participation loans, leases, and energy savings agreements and has made equity investments.
Sustainable Energy Fund has financial, technical, and programmatic staff. As a program administrator, SEF will use its financial and technical staff to ensure proposed projects meet approved program guidelines. The programmatic and marketing staff will promote the program to commercial, industrial, and agricultural businesses, contractors, financial institutions, and C-PACE capital providers.
About Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance:
Founded in 2008, KEEA has more than a decade of experience promoting energy efficiency throughout the Commonwealth. KEEA educates the public about energy conservation and efficiency; monitors and supports energy efficiency policies and regulations at the state, county, and municipal levels; provides forums for sharing best practices; and mobilizes its network of businesses, nonprofit partners, and community stakeholders to educate decision-makers and showcase the economic impacts of the energy efficiency industry.