What is the C-PACE program?
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a financing mechanism that offers fixed-rate interest, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and resiliency projects on commercial and industrial properties, both in existing buildings and in new construction projects. Up to 100% of hard and soft project costs can be financed by qualified capital providers, then repaid over the lifetime of the project as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill. By reducing initial cost barriers, this program helps participating commercial property owners implement energy efficient capital improvements and avoid deferring maintenance.
How widespread is the C-PACE program?
37 states (including Illinois) and Washington, D.C. have enabled C-PACE programs, and over 20 of those states have active C-PACE programs. Although C-PACE is relatively new in Illinois, the program has long served other states successfully for years, such as California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. Across the country, over $2 billion in project costs were financed, over 2,500 projects were completed, and about 24,000 jobs were created between 2011 and 2019.
As of June 2021, many of Will County’s peers have also established C-PACE programs, including DuPage, Kane, Cook, Kankakee, McHenry, Winnebago, Ogle, and Peoria Counties.
Why C-PACE in Will County?
The C-PACE program in Will County encourages local property owners to implement clean energy and resiliency projects in the community. This stimulates economic development and job creation, lowers the cost of doing business in the county, increases local property values, and contributes to energy savings and sustainability goals set by organizations and by the county. These outcomes make Will County an even better place to live and an even more attractive place to run businesses.
For details on the benefits that property owners and contractors receive when participating in C-PACE, see the “Key Benefits of C-PACE for Property Owners and Contractors” subpage.
Who can use C-PACE in Will County? What projects can C-PACE financing help implement?
Owners of commercial properties (including offices, retail centers, healthcare and hospitality buildings, industrial and agricultural sites, and more) are eligible to pursue C-PACE projects on those properties. Some eligible project types include renovations, equipment installations, new construction, adaptive reuse, and even refinancing.
Please see the “Eligible Projects and Properties” subpage and the Will County C-PACE Program Report document in the “Other Resources” subpage for more details.
Who provides the financing for the C-PACE project?
Private capital sources of the participating property owner’s choosing provide the financing for C-PACE projects. Property owners interested in C-PACE can select a prequalified Capital Provider from this list or encourage their preferred capital provider to participate by contacting CapitalProvider@IECAPace.org for registration information.
How is C-PACE financing repaid?
Commercial property owners repay the financing through a line item on their property tax bill. Like any other property tax, a C-PACE lien is senior to a commercial mortgage. C-PACE financing runs with the land, so the repayment obligation and ongoing energy savings transfer to a new property owner upon sale of the improved commercial property. The financing term under C-PACE also extends over the useful life of the energy project, allowing the financing to exceed commercial lending terms (which are generally only a few years).
Who installs the financed improvement project?
Qualified contractors of the participating property owner’s choosing complete the C-PACE projects. See this list of IECA-registered contractors. If you prefer to work with a contractor who is not on this list, encourage your preferred contractor to register as an IECA-PACE contractor.
What is the IECA?
The Illinois Energy Conservation Authority (IECA) is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with governments and other entities to establish successful commercial PACE (C-PACE) programs. Their work supports greater economic development activity and contributes to developing high performing buildings through the installation of energy efficiency, water conservation, resiliency and clean energy technologies.
IECA currently serves as Program Administrator for C-PACE programs in Will County and other collar counties in Chicagoland.
Where can I learn more about this program?
For information on other local and national PACE programs, visit iecapace.org and pacenation.org