Displayed below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Click on the “>” icon associated with each question to view the answer.
C-PACE is designed to help qualifying commercial, industrial, and multifamily (with five or more units) property owners access long term financing for the installation of qualifying energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects (energy improvements). Such improvements may include any construction, renovation or retrofitting of energy efficient technology, clean energy systems, or qualifying waste heat recovery technologies that are permanently fixed to qualifying commercial property.
C-PACE is a win-win program that, aside from lowering the utility expenses and increasing the value of improved properties, advances important public policy goals that include reducing energy and water costs, increasing renewable energy deployment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating local jobs.
C-PACE financing is provided by private capital providers in an open market. The financing is secured through a voluntary benefit assessment and assignable lien that is levied against the owner’s property. Repayment to the capital provider is facilitated in accordance with a standard C-PACE financing agreement between the property owner, the City, and the capital provider.
The financing term is based on the useful life of the improvements and can extend up to 25 years. The financing itself can cover up to 100 percent of a building’s project cost and often requires no money down.
C-PACE projects must be designed such that the estimated energy cost savings, over the effective useful life of the qualified energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy improvements, exceeds the financing amount, i.e. the savings-to-investment ratio (SIR) be greater than one. Such projects create positive cash flow for the property owner.
This combination of benefits means C-PACE property owners can make substantial upgrades to their buildings and, in most cases, the upgraded building is more valuable after a C-PACE project has been completed.
Improvements that are eligible for C-PACE financing must be permanently affixed to the commercial or industrial property. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Automated building controls (such as BMS and EMS)
- Boilers, chillers, and furnaces
- Building envelope (such as insulation, glazing, windows)
- Combined heat and power (CHP) systems
- Fuel cells
- Geothermal systems
- High-efficiency lighting
- Hot water systems
- HVAC upgrades
- Hydroelectric systems
- Irrigation systems that improve water efficiency
- Roof replacement that improves energy efficiency (such as reflective/cool roof, enhanced insulation)
- Small wind systems
- Solar PV (roof upgrade/replacement for rooftop systems is also eligible)
- Solar thermal
- Waste heat recovery technologies
- Water efficient fixtures (such as low-flow faucets and toilets)
In addition, the cost of improvements that are directly related to the installation of eligible improvements may be included in the financing, e.g. roof upgrades to support a roof-mounted solar PV installation.
This list is not all-inclusive and is expected to change over time. If a proposed improvement or expense is not on this list, contact the program administrator with a description of the improvement or expense for consideration.
Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Inc. (SRS), an industry leader in C-PACE program administration services nationwide, has been selected by the City to administer the program.
While many buildings need upgrading, until C-PACE there was no good way to pay for it. C-PACE solves the financial issues associated with a building modernization project by providing 100 percent financing that is long-term, non-recourse, and affordable. Since the financing is based on the building’s financial health, and not the owner’s creditworthiness, personal guarantees are not required. Once a project is complete, the property owner has a more valuable, competitive, and sustainable property with lower utility bills and higher net operating income.
No. C-PACE uses private capital to fund projects. View a list of capital providers that participate in the program.
Property owners are encouraged to consult their accountants on this matter.
There has been no specific ruling by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on this issue.
Upon closing of C-PACE financing.
Yes. Owners who choose not to participate remain unaffected.
Qualifying for C-PACE financing is based on the property, and not the owner. The capital provider will look at:
- The property’s estimated market value (assessed or appraised)
- The amount of the owner’s equity in the property
- The owner’s recent mortgage and property tax payment history
- The dollar value of the proposed eligible energy improvements
C-PACE projects typically range from $50,000 to multi-million dollars. Constraints on the amount are driven by the financial health of the building and include:
- Building financials
- Loan-to-value percentage (<80% LTV is preferred)
- Other considerations of the mortgage holder
Qualified capital providers typically set interest rates based on the term of the financing. For example, 10-year-term financing may have an interest rate in the range of 5% to 5.5%; 15-year-term, 5.5% to 6%; and 20-year-term, 6% to 6.25%. Moreover, capital providers will typically set applicable closing fees to cover transaction costs, e.g. legal, underwriting, appraisal, etc.
To ensure the best possible terms, including interest rate and other fees, the property owner can review term sheets from multiple C-PACE qualified capital providers to select the best fit.
Repayment periods span up to 25 years, depending on the owner’s preference, and are limited by the weighted average effective useful life (EUL) of the financed improvements.
Property owners are encouraged to pursue available federal investment tax credits (ITC), utility rebates, and all other available incentives. All or a portion of total incentives may be subtracted from the amount financed under the C-PACE program.
Each C-PACE capital provider set their own terms, including pre-payment, in its financing agreement with the property owner. It is common for C-PACE capital providers to include a pre-payment fee schedule.
Yes. View a list of contractors who have attended C-PACE training. Note that by providing this list, the City of Reno, the City’s Program Manager, the Reno C-PACE program, and its Program Administrator are not recommending or endorsing any specific contractor.
No, there is no fee to apply for C-PACE financing.