C-PACE

A new energy efficiency law for Pennsylvania

On June 12, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed SB 234 into law, creating Act 30 and making Pennsylvania the 34th state to enable Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE). KEEA members and partners played a major role in ensuring the bill’s passage through the legislature, and the bill represents a major step forward for energy efficiency in Pennsylvania.

 

Opportunity for investment and growth

C-PACE is a financing tool for local governments to help facilitate energy efficiency and clean energy loans. Nationally, half a billion dollars has been 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 (click here for more on the 2018 PA Clean Jobs Report).

 

How C-PACE works

Now that it has been enabled through state legislation, C-PACE will be adopted and implemented by local governments across Pennsylvania. Once a county or municipality establishes a C-PACE program through ordinance, energy efficiency and clean energy projects may be financed through a C-PACE loan that is repaid as an assessment on the property tax bill. This innovative financing mechanism allows long-term loans with low monthly payments that convey with the property after sale. These features reduce or remove significant barriers that many property owners face to making energy efficiency investments.

A C-PACE program is run by an administrator, which can be either the local government itself or, more commonly, a third-party non-profit organization. The administrator facilitates C-PACE financing by connecting project developers to qualified contractors and lenders, as well as coordinating remittance of the loan from the property tax bill back to the C-PACE lender.

 

How can a local government implement C-PACE?

KEEA and our partners, including the Philadelphia Energy Authority and Sustainable Energy Fund, have developed a starter kit to help a county or municipality adopt and implement a C-PACE program: “C-PACE in a Box” is available from the Sustainable Energy Fund, and includes a sample resolution, and Executive Summary of the Program Guidelines, a template cooperation agreement, a sample Statement of Levy and Lien Agreement, and other key documents. The goal of the process is to create a program that works for C-PACE lenders, project developers, property owners, local governments, and mortgage holders. KEEA is working with local governments across the state to pass ordinances to adopt the program and get C-PACE up and running statewide!