PowerGreen Capital

How C-PACE Works

What is C-PACE?

“C-PACE” stands for “commercial property assessed clean energy”. C-PACE finances energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy installations such as solar, disaster resiliency improvements, and water conservation measures for commercial and non-profit property owners. C-PACE is unique as a mechanism to provide low-cost, long-term financing. It is a national public-private initiative, supported and promoted by the U.S. Department of Energy, but C-PACE is not a federal program, and public funding is not used to fund C-PACE programs. Rather, C-PACE was conceived as a means to attract private funders, such as PowerGreen Capital, into the clean energy market. 

A C-PACE financing program must first be enabled by legislation at the state level, and subsequently authorized at the county or local municipal level. Currently 37 states have enabled C-PACE, including the Mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. 

What are the benefits of C-PACE?

Many buildings need upgrading, but until C-PACE, building owners lacked a cost-effective way to pay for it. C-PACE provides 100 percent financing that is long-term, non-recourse, and affordable

In fact, the energy cost savings from C-PACE improvements usually exceed the financing costs, so C-PACE from PowerGreen Capital is self-financing

Moreover, the financing is based on the building’s financial health, so the owner is not required to sign a personal guarantee. 

Upon completion, the building owner has a more valuable, more competitive building, healthier and more productive employees or tenants, and lower utility bills.

What is the C-PACE process?

To get started, PowerGreen Capital will work with you to identify a registered contractor or project developer to discuss the eligible improvements that would be beneficial for your building. 
Next, you and your contractor will work together with PowerGreen Capital to determine the optimal C-PACE-eligible project that meets both your needs and the property’s, and to ensure your project meets our underwriting requirements. PowerGreen Capital will quarterback the process, which will include an energy audit of your building and obtaining mortgage holder consent.

Next, PowerGreen Capital will execute the finance closing. After the closing, an assessment lien will be recorded on the property and assigned to us. We will then disburse funds to start construction. Upon completion, the local taxing authority will collect payments due in accordance with the terms of the Finance Agreement.

Is my building eligible for C-PACE?

Properties eligible for C-PACE financing in the mid-Atlantic states must meet two requirements. First, the building must be located within a county or municipality or county that has enabled C-PACE. Second, the building must have one of the following uses:
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Multifamily (with 5 or more units)
  • Non-profit

New construction projects are also eligible for C-PACE financing. In addition, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that have been completed within the past two or three years (depending on the state) are eligible for retroactive C-PACE financing.

Learn more about each state's C-PACE program:


New York

New Jersey

Is my project eligible for C-PACE?

A wide range of improvements are eligible for C-PACE financing, including energy efficiency, renewable energy & storage, resiliency, and water efficiency. 

Improvements that are eligible for C-PACE financing must be permanently affixed to the building. 

Learn more about eligible improvements. 

What is the timeline for a C-PACE financing?

Once a building owner agrees to proceed with a C-PACE transaction, the project will pass through five
phases: 1) Proposed, 2) Approval, 3) Funding, 4) Construction and 5) Ongoing Servicing.

Phase 1: Proposed (2 -3 weeks)

During the Proposed Phase,PowerGreen Capital files a Preliminary Application, on the building owner’s behalf, with the administrator or the state or municipal C-PACE program. The purpose of the Preliminary Application is to affirm the applicant is an eligible borrower and that the property is eligible for C-PACE financing under the program guidelines. If the applicant meets these criteria, the administrator provides preliminary approval for the transaction.

Phase 2: Approval (3 to 8 weeks)

During this phase, PowerGreen Capital will manage the process of gathering the necessary documents to gain approval for the project. These documents include:
  • confirmation that the project’s improvements are eligible for C-PACE financing,
  • the energy audit for energy efficiency projects,
  • a feasibility study for renewable energy projects, and
  • lender consent for the transactions
  • PowerGreen Capital's internal underwriting to ensure the building owner and the project satisfy their internal guidelines.

Phase 3: Funding (1 to 2 weeks)

Once the project has been approved by the program administrator, a master financing agreement and collection agreement are signed, the project is funded, and notice of the financing is recorded.

Phase 4: Construction (2 to 12 months)

Following funding of the project, construction begins. (Of course, for projects that are retroactive refinancings of already completed projects, there will be no Construction Phase.) Upon project completion, a certificate of completion is filed with the program administrator, at which point billing and collection of the C-PACE assessment will begin.

Phase 5: Ongoing Servicing (15 to 30 years)

On an annual or semi-annual basis, the building owner will make C-PACE assessment payments according to the amortization schedule of the C-PACE financing, typically over a term of 15 to 25 years. PowerGreen Capital will oversee this process as part of our ongoing servicing of the transaction.

What is the term and cost of a C-PACE financing?

One of the great benefits of C-PACE financing is that term is matched to the average useful life of the improvements. This means long term, fixed rate financing for from 15 to 30 years. The financing rate is typically a spread of 350 to 450 basis points over 20-year U.S. Treasuries. The actual rate is based on market conditions.

Please contact PowerGreen Capital today to start a conversation about upgrading your building with C-PACE.