Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy May Be Coming to a Community Near You!
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy May Be Coming to a Community Near You!

Guest Post by Daniel Farrell, Virginia DMME

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is gaining momentum quickly nationally, and in Virginia local governments can authorize C-PACE assessments in their jurisdiction. C-PACE allows building owners longer-term financing of energy saving (or energy producing) improvements, such as insulation, new HVAC equipment or solar panels. C-PACE financing is paid back via a special assessment on a building owner’s property tax bill. The program is voluntary for building owners, but a tremendous potential resource for clean energy. PACE loans may be paid back over longer terms than typical property improvement loans, up to 20 years. If an owner sells a building with a C-PACE assessment, it transfers to the new owner. The new owner and tenants benefit from lower energy bills, improved cash flow, and building comfort.

A number of organizations have collaborated to advance C-PACE in Virginia, including Abacus Property Solutions, Arlington County, Virginia Community Capital, and the VA Energy Efficiency Council. Eligible building types include: commercial office, manufacturing/industrial, agricultural, and multifamily buildings with more than four dwelling units. In 2016, Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy successfully applied for $500,000 in grant funding from the US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP) to create the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance or MAPA.

MAPA’s key role is to promote communication and coordination among C-PACE program sponsors, program administrators, and other key stakeholders in the mid-Atlantic region. MAPA just announced its first regional C-PACE conference, entitled “Winning with PACE: Game Plans for Financing Energy Improvements” for Monday, November 13, 2017.  For more information and registration details please visit the MAPA website.

About the Contributor

Dan Farrell is the Energy Financing Program Manager with Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME). Dan oversees several energy efficiency and clean energy financing programs, including the Virginia SavesGreen Program, the Commonwealth Energy Fund, and revolving loan and loan loss reserve funds. He is also facilitating a multi-state working group to promote growth of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) loan programs in VA, MD and DC, funded through a State Energy Program grant from US Department of Energy. Dan previously served as Project Manager with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in Albany, NY.