What is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program?
PACE specifically refers to the property assessed clean energy model of financing. It was designed to afford private property owners the opportunity (and funds) required to make the shift to an energy-efficient lifestyle. In fact, the program is available for residential and commercial properties alike. A PACE program for residential property is commonly referred to as R-PACE or Residential PACE. Likewise, PACE programs intended for commercial properties are known as C-PACE or Commercial Pace.
Generally speaking, PACE programs are enabled through state legislation. This means that you’ll be going through your local government level for authorization. You may need to anticipate dealing with your municipality in order to get into a PACE program; but the actual groups that you’ll work with vary from location to location. In some cases, municipalities do administer their own PACE programs directly; in others, public-private partnerships with PACE providers might be involved.
To reap the benefits of a PACE program, three basic requirements must be met:
- A school’s building owner must be interested in making energy efficient improvements
- The regional Port Authority must have a bond fund
- An energy services company must be available and willing to audit the building’s energy opportunities and identify savings potential
PACE programs are ideal for major energy projects. A project must call for at least $100,000 in costs before PACE funding becomes available. The upside to this is there’s absolutely no maximum cost for improvements; even the most expensive projects can be PACE-funded.
Common energy-efficient building improvement projects which are carried out across the nation thanks to PACE include:
- Installation of proper insulation and weather blocks
- Installation of ENERGY STAR appliances, doors, windows, and roofing
- Replacement of broken, failing, or inadequate heating and cooling systems
- Installation of solar photovoltaic systems
- Implementation of water conservation measures
How PACE can Save You Money
If you’re looking to make energy efficient improvements to your school regardless of funding source, PACE is a clear choice over other financing options. The loan will be repaid over time as part of an annual assessment on the school’s property taxes, meaning that you’ll start seeing net savings from energy efficiency improvements long before you would if you opted for a traditional loan.
PACE financing also tends to offer lower interest rates than those of alternative energy efficiency loans. This is because of the nature of the payments mentioned above — making payments based on property taxes is a far more secure method of payment that what’s offered in traditional loan scenarios. The obvious translation? Lower interest.
Saving money on interest and financing itself is excellent — but seeing the long-term payoffs of your decision feels even better. Most property values increase following the implementation of energy-efficient appliances and structuration, too.
C-PACE allows building owners to take control of energy costs and actively work towards saving money on repairs, utilities, and other related costs. In today’s world, countless schools often operate underfunded on shoestring budgets. Taking steps to craft lower, more predictable energy costs will allow your school’s administration to focus on what really matters: the education and well-being of the children who come to school day in and day out to learn.
If you’re interested in learning more about the qualification process for PACE financing and the savings that a PACE-funded project has to offer, get in contact with us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are eager to speak with you about how funding energy efficient programs through C-PACE will benefit your school. From executive staff down through to your student body, everybody who’s a part of your school’s ecosystem will benefit from a PACE project.
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