At Possible Planet, we’ve been working on Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) for nearly a decade, so we were delighted to find out that the City of Rochester had approved it last year. The program actually launched in February of 2021, with an announcement by Mayor Lovely Warren and the posting of a page on the City’s website.
“The C-PACE program protects the environment, and helps our partners in the private sector improve the value of their property at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Mayor Warren. “I am proud to bring this new and innovative financial mechanism to Rochester, especially now as we work to implement the actions identified in our Climate Action Plan and Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan. Programs like this advance the goals of our Equity and Recovery Agenda and support our efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, and better educational opportunities.”
Eligible commercial, industrial, multi-family housing, and mixed-use property owners can now utilize this financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements that can reduce operating costs and provide an environmental benefit to the community. C-PACE provides commercial property owners access to funding for improvements including solar panels, geothermal systems, and high-efficiency HVAC, LED lighting, and building envelope improvements. C-PACE fosters economic development and a reduction in carbon emissions.
C-PACE financing is available for up to 100 percent of the eligible project cost and can be repaid over a term that matches the expected life of the improvements, which could be 20-30 years. PACE financing is a public benefit, authorized by state and local law, which supports sustainable communities.
The City is partnering with the Energy Improvement Corp. (EIC) to administer the program and connect property owners to approved lenders that can help determine the most cost-effective and energy-efficient improvements. EIC, a non-profit local development corporation, administers the program on behalf of participating municipalities across New York State.
“EIC is proud to partner with the City of Rochester to offer Open C-PACE,” said Susan Morth, CEO of EIC. “This program is an enormous opportunity to facilitate energy retrofits and high-performance new construction that will benefit the city’s commercial building sector and advance the climate goals of the City or Rochester and State of New York.”
C-PACE is a High Impact Action item of the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities initiative, which encourages municipalities to implement clean energy actions that save energy costs, create jobs, and improve the environment.