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Northampton County Votes to Implement Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy
On May 2nd, 2019, the Northampton County Council approved Resolution 46-2019 to implement C-PACE, a clean energy financing program. County leadership, including Northampton County Council, County Executive Lamont G. McClure, and Department of Community Economic Development Director Tina Smith , recognized the program’s potential as a job-creator and an opportunity to invest in the health and longevity of their built environment.
Northampton County named Sustainable Energy Fund to administer the program and will connect project developers to authorized contractors and lenders. SEF is positioned to administer C-PACE at no cost for any other interested county in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Energy Authority has stepped forward to administer a C-PACE program in Philadelphia.
“Northampton County is excited to be the first County in the Commonwealth to adopt this program that will support family sustaining jobs and the Northampton County business community as well as improve the sustainability of our built environment,” said Northampton County Executive Lamont G. McClure.
“The Sustainable Energy Fund is proud to offer its 20 years of experience in clean energy lending to help counties and cities across the state take advantage of this powerful new 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 for a project by placing a voluntary payment on the property that repays the costs of the upgrades. Nationally, half a billion dollars has ben invested through C-PACE loans, and many industry experts expect that number to double in the next few years. 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 and counting.
“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.”
Pennsylvania joined the more than 30 states who have enabled C-PACE in June 2018 with the passage of SB 234. Four interested public-sector organizations then collaborated to develop the C-PACE program in Pennsylvania: Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA), Philadelphia Energy Authority, City of Pittsburgh Sustainability Commission, and Sustainable Energy Fund.
The Program Guidelines these organizations released in December of 2018 can be used by any municipality in the state.