What is C-PACE? Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy


The world is concerned about pollution and its effect on the environment. Each industry is doing something on its part to help with sustainability and the green revolution. Undoubtedly, energy efficiency and sustainability have been popular topics for conversation for a long time. On one side, sustainability has been a luxury that many can’t afford, but the government has made it financially feasible and profitable.

Different strategies are being used to ensure the CRE industries, for their part, do something for the environment and help restore the balance. Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy is the financing that one needs to understand when it comes to sustainability in the CRE industry.

The energy improvements made herein with the funding will help reduce operating costs, improve tenant comfort, increase asset value, and satisfy the capital intensity that will take many years to pay back. C-PACE can provide long-term and low-cost financing for commercial and non-profit buildings at once. Investors can use C-PACE to improve the cash flow, increase net operating income, and maximize the value of the building.


C-PACE- what is?

In the year 2009, C-PACE was developed to provide the building owners with a new way of financing the capital-intensive water and energy improvements in the commercial buildings. Instead of the traditional CRE mortgage provided for short-term and high-cost financing, C-PACE was there to offer a long-term yet low-cost financing solution.

Thus it provided a solution to use the financing for earning profitability and also doing something for the environment.


History of C-PACE financing

The C-PACE financing has received popularity in recent times, but the general structure and idea for the program have been around since 2001. However, it was not until 2008 that the program, after receiving funding from the US Environment Protection Agency and more legislation gained the weight.

The program was designed for helping to reduce the pollution rate to help with overall climate goals.


The process

C-PACE is identified to be a voluntary financial program that aims to increase the energy efficiency and renewability of the property while continuously increasing the value. It can include water conservation methods, disaster resistance improvement, and installation of renewable energy for commercial, residential and industrial property.

  • The program can potentially cover about 100% of the energy-related improvements
  • There are long financing terms that we last up to 30 years
  • The program can be combined with local utility and Federal incentive programs
  • The assessment is filed with the local municipality as a lien on the property
  • Projects are known to be permanently fixed to a property


Typically the financing can be secured with about $0 front for about 20 years of financing. Herein the financing is dependent entirely on the value of the property but not on the credit history or the personal guarantee.

In simple terms, the loan is provided for the building. The amount that you can find will depend on the value and outstanding mortgage of the property.

You will have to work with the project manager and then get private third-party financing to make all the improvements required for the property in the form of a lien which is to be prepaid annually through the property tax bill.



The financing can be used for a huge array of improvements. Everything from energy efficiency to battery storage, renewable energy, and even seismic improvements. Because of all of the improvements, there will be great savings in the utility cost, which can be used to repay the financing.


Benefits of C-PACE

The financing was initially designed to overcome any obstacle that the building owners might face with the capital-intensive energy improvements. Besides this, C-PACE also provides a multitude of benefits that makes it more appealing than any other bank loan or financing option.

  • Positive cash flow

Most of the states now require or at least recommend that the space project needs to have a saving to investment ratio of about 1.0 or greater. This means that on day one of the project, you will be able to save more money than it will cost you. Besides every, one clearly understands and knows how important cash flow is.

  • Low-cost financing

For most of the C- PACE programs around the country, there is about $0 or very minimum down payment for the financing. Soft cost and hard cost are eligible for financing to lower out or forget expenses even further.

  • Long term financing

C-PACE is available to CRE investors for 20 years. However, in some states, it can reach 25 years. The financing terms herein are negotiable between you and the private capital, which is driven by the equipment being installed and the estimated life of the project.

  • Transferable

The C-PACE is financing but not for the owner. Thus it can easily be transferred to the new building owner without having you pay off. Unlike the traditional mortgage, it makes it quite convenient for the owner to sell the property or transfer it to someone else.

  • Non-accelerating

In case there is no default or foreclosure and the financing does not accelerate, the only payment one is responsible for is the repayments in the installment.

Such type of loan payment is customized for the government programs instead of the instructor as a junior debt which is to be paid monthly. The financing is added to the property tax bill, which gets paid when the respective tax bills are due. Amortization happens between 10 to 30 years, which will be a relatively low rate.



Just like the advantages of the financing options, you can also find the downside. Understanding it all is the key to seeing if such types of loans will work for your investment.

Most of the senior lenders herein will not allow the C-PACE as a part of the capital as the property tax bills and anything associated with the tax bills primes the mortgage in the event of a default.

This would mean that a project goes sideways, and C-PACE will get paid back before the senior. Thus it can be a major problem for the senior lenders. Further, some look down on the project and the investors as those with less skin in the game.

Most lenders love to see their borrowers have 25%to 30% of the cash equity in the deal. This provides stability and also assurance that their funding would be safe.


C-PACE is a favorable financing solution

C-PACE is approved in most states in the United States to provide the owners with additional average to upgrade bills and retrofit the property to comply with the new carbon benchmarks.

The financing option is considered to be supplemental to senior financing, but it also offers a significantly lower interest rate than the conventional options, which comes with an ability to cover about 100% of the hard and soft costs of the projects.

The great thing is that the C-PACE financing is a non-resource and does not follow the borrower. They are connected directly to the building and treated as special assessments built with property taxes.

The term payment here takes about 20 to 30 years which can be repaid at any time without any worry about the penalty. As C-PACE is built in an assessment, passing the extraordinary expensive renovation outweighs the cost as a property value does not go down due to higher tax borders.

The type of procedure or the financing you will get will go forward to include more energy-efficient HVAC and air conditioning systems, low floor toilets, energy-efficient lighting, solar panels, windows, boilers, building automation, and control systems.

Besides, it can even be used for the plumbing system. Undoubtedly there happens to be a lot of benefits of C-PACE financing. This means all the renovation or upgrade projects are eligible that were done in the last few years, especially during the newly constructed properties.

Besides seeing the benefits, you need to understand how you get to make use of the financing option for the property and bring out the best outcomes. No doubt, it can be quite complicated to understand all the associated aspects, especially when you are new in the industry.

In such instances, it is vital to take support from a professional who can efficiently work in your favor and help get the required help for the project.



Getting the required financing for the projects can be quite complicated. Besides, as there has been a green revolution going around in all the industries, the Commercial Real Estate also needs to do something for the environment to make a way of getting the funding that can be used for making all the improvements in the property and ensure the best outcome.

It will not only help save money but ensure that the property is renovated or upgraded efficiently. To get the required assistance or help with the financing, you can contact Private Capital Investors.

They have got an expert who will stay by your side to support you. The experts have a proper idea about the financing and associated aspects. They will help you understand the available options and choose something that will work well for you. For sure, by contacting them, you will have great convenience in getting the funding for your project.

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