On December 19, the Delta County Board of County Commissioners adopted the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) resolution, giving various groups of Delta County residents access to long-term financing for resource saving projects, including renewable energies! Along with the resolution, the commissioners have entered into an agreement with the Colorado New Energy Improvement District (“the District”), making Delta County the 12th county in Colorado to administer the program.
Over the years, Empowered Energy Systems LLC has hosted discussions with many small business owners in Delta County who are unable to find good financing options for solar projects. What makes PACE financing different than other financing options is that repayment is made through a voluntary assessment on the building owner’s property tax bill. In essence, this means that the loan for the project is tied to the property rather than the property owner, and is therefore transferable upon sale. For Delta County business owners who struggle to make economic sense of an investment in a solar electric system which, with all of its long-term benefits, may take 10-12 years to make a return, PACE financing can help these businesses start saving on their electric bills immediately. As C-PACE registered contractors, Empowered Energy Systems LLC is ready to begin work with Delta County commercial property owners on their C-PACE projects, so that they may start saving now! Eligible properties include existing and new commercial, industrial, agricultural, non-profit and multifamily (with 5 or more units) properties.
Another advantage to PACE financing over other financing options are the loan terms available. Loans are available for up to 20 years, and can cover 100% of project costs (there is no minimum or maximum financing amount). The District has posted a list of pre-qualified capital providers on its website, which interested property owners are free to arrange financing with directly, or bring their own capital provider to purchase the C-PACE assessment. We talk a lot about local investment in Delta County, and it makes me wonder what the potential is for financing some of these projects with ultra-local lenders, given the platform that C-PACE provides. Each approved capital provider will use its own underwriting criteria, including the rate of interest on the financing. Projects that apply to the Colorado C-PACE program without a pre-selected capital provider will be presented to the pool of qualified capital providers for their funding consideration. It should also be noted that C-PACE financing is fully compatible with other state and federal incentive programs such as tax credits, accelerated depreciation and rebates.
C-PACE projects are not limited to renewable energy systems, either. PACE financing is available for businesses looking to increase energy efficiency with any number of permanent upgrades which help them achieve “utility cost savings” including insulation, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, multi-glazed windows and doors, air sealing measures, efficient lighting fixtures as well as daylighting systems, and even electric vehicle charging equipment. This part of the program is crucial, as we always say “reduce, THEN produce” when it comes to solar. The less energy you consume, the less your solar system needs to produce. Increasing efficiency first can help decrease the overall cost of your solar system, as well as making your space more comfortable.
Oh! And did I mention that PACE financing is available for water conservation upgrades as well? The list of opportunities goes on. We truly are blessed to now be able to participate in a program that has such a wide range of benefits. For more information on C-PACE, contact us! We’d love to start working with you to get C-PACE financing for your next solar project!
Thank you to Solar Energy International and their dedicated VISTA volunteers who have been working with county commissioners for months to understand the benefits of this program! And thank you to the Delta County Board of County Commissioners for seeing the benefit this financing tool can bring to our local businesses!