SEF Helps to Implement C-PACE in Pennsylvania

By Sustainable Energy Fund

From Apple to Walmart, corporate America is making a commitment to smart energy. While these large companies can manage the long-term investment, it may be harder for smaller companies to tie up capital for decades. Although there are many energy efficiency projects with short paybacks, large equipment such as boiler and chillers as well as deep energy retrofits and renewable energy projects are often a long-term investment, which is why many states have adopted a special financing program called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). This past summer, Pennsylvania made this program available to counties and municipalities. Sustainable Energy Fund is working to bring this program to agricultural, commercial and industrial properties throughout the Commonwealth.

In June 2018, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Senate Bill 234, making the Commonwealth the 36th state to adopt Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE). C-PACE allows a building owner to finance clean energy and water conservation projects through their property tax bill. In other states, this means that a building owner can get longer terms on their loan and the investment is tied to the building even if the ownership changes. A clean energy project that is financed through C-PACE can often receive a repayment term of 10-20 years. In addition, there are many capital providers that are looking for investments in clean energy. Nationally, there has been over $700 million of investment through C-PACE.

The Sustainable Energy Fund is working to implement C-PACE in Pennsylvania with the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, Philadelphia Energy Authority and the Pittsburgh Office of Sustainability. The first step was to bring together stakeholders to develop a set of program guidelines and template contracts. These draft guidelines are set to be available for public comment in December 2018. The program must be adopted by counties or a municipality that has a community or economic development department. The SEF staff is currently talking with counties and planning outreach to all 66 counties outside of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

If you have questions or would like to be kept up to date on the progress of this program, please visit www.PennsylvaniaCPACE.org/contactus