Are properties owned by nonprofits eligible for C-PACE?

Organizations that operate as a 501c are eligible for C-PACE. These properties are tax exempt in most cases. However, if they do a project financed with C-PACE, the organization would agree to be billed annually by the county for the C-PACE assessment. While the C-PACE bill will come as a tax bill, this will not affect the tax-exempt status of the nonprofit for county real estate taxes.

Are multifamily properties eligible for C-PACE? 

Yes, effective in September 2022, multifamily properties with five (5) or more units are eligible for C-PACE financing. Please check the County page to see which counties have adopted to expansion.

I finished an energy efficiency retrofit last year and didn’t know about C-PACE at the time. Can I refinance my project with C-PACE?

Yes, you can use C-PACE for retroactive financing on retrofits, gut rehab projects, and new construction projects. The C-PACE financing must close within 730 days of project completion, and the project is subject to some additional requirements. Please see Sec. 11 of the Program Guidelines for more details.

What kind of soft costs can be included in C-PACE financing?

Eligible soft costs are those that are necessary to directly install the C-PACE project or for the C-PACE Capital Provider to perform their due diligence/underwriting. As such, eligible soft costs may include the cost of the following: program fees, energy or water survey, other required design and engineering, project development fees, permit fees, surveys, legal fees, other third-party reports, inspection fees, financing fees, fees associated with the issuance of bonds for the financing, any required reserves deposits, recordation fees, capitalized interest, and commissioning. The applicant may request consideration of additional soft costs not listed above.

What is the role of a county to run a C-PACE program? 
  • In order to establish the Pennsylvania C-PACE Program locally, county governments or a municipality with an economic development department must pass a resolution. A model resolution will be available in January 2019 and is being developed in consultation with local tax attorneys, legislative experts and C-PACE financing experts. 
  • Once the Pennsylvania C-PACE Program is established locally, the main responsibility of the local government is to collect C-PACE assessments through the existing property tax collection process and to remit payment back to the program administrator who will remit the payment to the various capital providers. 
  • Optionally, counties and municipalities may support a local C-PACE program once it is established through public awareness and training for property owners, developers, local financial institutions, and contractors.
What type of properties are eligible for C-PACE in Pennsylvania?
  • Commercial, industrial and agricultural properties, excluding multi-family housing, can access C-PACE if the county has adopted the C-PACE resolution. 
  • The program guidelines adopted by a county will set forth the parameters for how a clean energy project can qualify for both new construction and a retrofit of qualified properties.
Who are the lenders for C-PACE in Pennsylvania? 

New construction projects that utilize building standards and/or equipment outlined in one of the below standards will be eligible for C-PACE financing. One hundred percent of the cost of outlined energy conservation measures (ECMs) will be eligible. 

  • Net Zero Building: DOE and National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) 
  • Green Building Initiative: Green Globes for New Construction
  • LEED: New Commercial Construction (LEED-NC), Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) projects 
  • LEED: Core and Shell (LEED-CS) projects that exceeds current building code requirements 
  • Living Building Challenge 
  • EPA Energy Star 
  • PHIUS Passive House Commercial Requirements
Can C-PACE be used to find stormwater management projects?  

Pennsylvania C-PACE can be used for water conservation projects. If the stormwater will be collected and used to offset water usage in a building, then the project may be eligible. Projects that simply manage stormwater are not eligible for C-PACE.   

Is C-PACE considered a new or second mortgage?

No. C-PACE assessments are similar to other special assessments used to finance public infrastructure projects and are typically repaid through your property tax bill. Like with real estate taxes, on the current and past due C-PACE payments are due in the case of delinquency. 

Is the C-PACE assessment a tax on my property?

No. Pennsylvania uses the term ‘assessment’ when valuing property and taxes for real estate purposes. The term assessment is used nation wide to referring to a type of payment. 

What is an ECM?

ECM stands for Energy Conservation Measure. Energy conservation measures are the upgrades, retrofits, repairs and replacements that businesses can implement to become more energy efficient. The aim of an ECM should generally be to achieve savings by reducing the amount of energy or water used by a particular process, technology or facility or eliminating the use of a fossil fuel.