Does Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) require a reassessment of the property? 

Nationally, this program is called “Property Assessed Clean Energy”, or “PACE”. When the PA legislators drafted the legislation, they used this common national name. However, the term assessment has a different connotation in Pennsylvania. This program does not include a reassessment of a property. The term ‘assessment’ in this case is the annual amount owed by the property owner for the repayment of funds secured through the C-PACE program. The annual amount is billed in the same manner and on the same bill as the property taxes associated with the property. 

What is meant by ‘assessment’ in Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE? 

In this case, the term assessment refers to the annual payment owed by the property owner for the repayment of funds secured through the C-PACE program. 

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? 

Pennsylvania has an open market, meaning lenders can be banks, equity investors, or others. These capital providers must register with Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) if they are funding a project in a county where SEF is administering the program. A listing of capital providers that are active in other states and have registered with SEF can be found in the Document Portal.

Are new construction projects eligible to apply for Pennsylvania C-PACE financing? 

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.