December 1st, 2020
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald today announced that the county’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program is now accepting applications for low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects.
“Investment in clean energy development is essential to combat climate change, and to continue to transition to renewable and sustainable energy sources for our community,” said Fitzgerald. “We recognize that the cost to invest in new technologies can often be off-putting for property owners. Through the C-PACE program, property owners have access to low-cost financing that allows them to make those investments that also benefit their owner operations in the long run.”
The financing tool, authorized by the state legislature in Act 30 of 2018, allows commercial, industrial and agricultural property owners to apply for project financing by placing a voluntary, special assessment on the property that repays the costs of the upgrades. The funding can be used for new construction projects as well as upgrades or gut rehabilitation of existing buildings. It cannot be used for residential or multifamily buildings.
“The C-PACE program is a good fit with the mission of RAAC, as it will assist with the generation, stimulation and management of economic and community growth within the county,” said William Brooks, Chair of RAAC. “The program can assist with the reuse of vacant or blighted properties, and the financing opens new doors for envisioning these properties in new and different ways that are sustainable for our community.”
Legislation enacted by the county in September 2019 provided that the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County (RAAC) would administer the program. Allegheny County Economic Development has been tasked with the program’s development. Supported by private lending, the program can generate more economic activity and increased revenues while allowing property owners to invest in clean energies that they may not have otherwise been able to afford.
“C-PACE is an incredible opportunity for Allegheny County because it provides a real chance to move our green economy forward,” said Council Member DeWitt Walton. “It also can provide real employment opportunities for county residents to find new career paths in this changing economy. It’s a win for residents. It’s a win for business. It’s one of those unique opportunities where everyone benefits from the continuing effort to battle climate change.”
RAAC has entered into a services agreement with Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) to manage all C-PACE program-related services in the county. SEF is a nonprofit organization that assists energy users in overcoming financial, educational and regulatory barriers. The organization will work with partner organizations, property owners, capital providers, and energy auditors to administer the program locally.
“Sustainable Energy Fund is proud to offer our services as a program administrator to Allegheny County for their C-PACE program,” said John Costlow, President of SEF. “C-PACE is a powerful financing tool for bringing investment, jobs, and clean energy to communities and we are excited for Allegheny County property owners to begin taking advantage of this program.”
Property owners can apply for C-PACE financing beginning today. Additional information, including links to program development and program guidelines, detail for key contacts at Sustainable Energy Fund, and assistance becoming a registered contractor, capital provider, or energy auditor, is available at https://alleghenycounty.us/cpace. For more information or to submit a pre-application, please visit www.alleghenycpace.org.