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Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Financing in Virginia

November 19, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) provides affordable, long-term financing to commercial property owners to pay for energy efficiency, water efficiency, and onsite renewable energy upgrades. Commercial property owners receive funding for energy savings upgrades and make repayments through their property tax bill. Ideal for private sector projects, C-PACE can be used for new construction, retrofits, and resiliency efforts. As an additional advantage, soft costs like A/E fees are included.

During the 2020 General Assembly, legislation was passed for the Commonwealth to create a statewide C-PACE program run through the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME). Virginia DMME is now in partnership with the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) to form the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance. As architects play a key role in C-PACE projects, we are proud to have DMME partner with AIA Virginia its outreach efforts.

The seminar will cover the following key elements:

  • What is Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Financing? (C-PACE is a tax assessment-based tool for building owners to finance clean energy- and water-related improvements to their properties. C-PACE assessments are typically collected by localities on property tax bills, and repayment directed to the lenders by the locality. C-PACE financing is advantageous because it is secured by the property, not the owner’s credit, and is transferrable upon sale.)
  • What are the eligible building types? (Generally privately-owned or non-profit; commercial, hospitality, industrial, mixed-use or multifamily with 5 or more units, agricultural; retrofit, substantial renovation and new construction projects may utilize C-PACE)
  • What measures and project costs are financeable through C-PACE programs? Typical energy and water conservation measures, as well as solar PV, EV charging  The C-PACE value proposition is that utility savings and long term financing (up to 20-25 years) will allow owners to mostly if not entirely offset the loan payments with the utility bill savings.  If a renewable energy system is installed, this will reduce utility cost by crediting the electricity production from the system to the owner’s bill. Virginia’s code also allows for resilience, flood prevention/storm water management, and living shoreline improvements to be financed.
  • How can C-PACE combine with other incentives and financing (utility DSM programs, traditional bank loans, private equity) or programs (Opportunity Zones, Main Street, etc.)? C-PACE can be integrated with all available financing/capital sources for the project; it may also be a source of financing for organizations that may typically have difficulty in obtaining financing.
  • Provide examples (case studies) of successful projects (we have several from Maryland and DC)
  • How can C-PACE assist building owners with indoor air and environmental quality issues including those associated with COVID-19? IAQ measures such as UV-C lighting systems are generally financeable if installed along with other energy-saving HVAC system upgrades
  • What is DMME’s role (as the Virginia State Energy Office) in supporting C-PACE program implementation and availability of C-PACE financing in the Commonwealth?

DMME has worked with stakeholders and industry partners for several years to enable C-PACE financing and programs.  Implementing C-PACE at scale statewide is well-aligned with DMME’s mission to ensure a transition to a vibrant and equitable clean energy economy for Virginians.

Earn 1 AIA LU

Presented by Virginia PACE Authority.

Virginia PACE Authority (VPA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that designs and administers C-PACE loan programs for Virginia communities. We offer a uniform, cost-effective and highly innovative C-PACE program platform that fosters greater economic development activity and promotes the Commonwealth’s clean energy goals. As the program administrator, VPA works with commercial businesses, property owners, contractors and local governments to facilitate the financing of energy efficiency, renewable energy and resilient projects on both existing buildings and new developments.


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November 19, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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