July 30th, 2020
On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Centre County Commissioners approved a Resolution to implement Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE). The commissioners approved C-PACE to help owners of commercial property with energy and water conservation projects. This program will also allow Centre County property owners to access long term loans to pay for renewable energy systems, energy efficient equipment, and fixtures that reduce water consumption.
Work on the adoption of C-PACE began in 2019 when Commissioner Michael Pipe met with staff of SEF to review the program. Detailed follow-up was provided by the Director of Planning, Raymond J. Stolinas Jr., AICP. This included a web meeting in April 2020 for representatives of Centre County municipalities that was presented in partnership with the Centre Region Council of Governments.
The Board of Commissioners approved the C-PACE resolution and authorized the County to enter into a Cooperative Agreement with Sustainable Energy Fund for the administration of the Program. The program administration will include the adoption of Program Guidelines and a possible fee structure to cover administrative costs of the county.
“Centre County is excited to join the many counties across the country that are encouraging and supporting the construction and renovation of commercial buildings to be more energy efficient,” said Michael Pipe, Chairman of the County Commissioners. “C-PACE offers an innovative approach to bring more energy efficient projects to Centre County.”
Now that a Resolution has been passed, Centre County commercial businesses, agriculture interests, and nonprofits, with the aid of private capital providers, will be able to finance clean energy and water efficiency projects. The C-PACE program, offering as much as 100% financing, will save local constituencies money and energy, providing even greater opportunity to those with initiative.
“Sustainable Energy Fund is proud to offer its 20 years of experience in clean energy lending to Centre County, allowing them to take advantage of this powerful new energy finance tool for bringing investment, jobs, and clean energy to their communities,” said John Costlow, President of SEF.
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a financial tool for property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. C-PACE can facilitate a loan from private capital sources for a project by placing a voluntary special payment on the property’s annual tax bill that repays the cost of the upgrades. Nationally, more than $750 million has been invested through PACE loans, and many industry experts expect that number to exceed $1 billion in the next 18 months. In Pennsylvania, C-PACE investment could help retrofit one of the nation’s oldest building stocks and accelerate growth in a local energy efficiency industry that already accounts for 65,000 jobs.
“C-PACE is a win-win-win for Pennsylvania communities,” said KEEA Policy Director Julian Boggs. “It makes financing energy efficiency easier, which means more work for companies that retrofit buildings, sell high-efficiency equipment, and design smart buildings.”
SEF is positioned to administer C-PACE at no cost for any interested county in Pennsylvania. For more information on program development, program guidelines, and links to the preapplication, visit PennsylvaniaCPACE.org. If you have a project and would like assistance finding a contractor or capital provider contact SEF at (610) 264-4440.
About Sustainable Energy Fund
Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF), a nonprofit organization, assists energy users in overcoming financial, educational and regulatory barriers to a sustainable energy future. SEF provides a variety of services including financing energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects; educating the leaders of today and tomorrow to create a passion for sustainable energy; and representing the interests of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy in proceedings before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Visit www.thesef.org.
About Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance
The Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance is a trade association of businesses, nonprofits, and institutions working to advance energy efficiency and energy conservation in Pennsylvania. Learn more at www.keealliance.org.