What Is C-PACE?

What is Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)?

C-PACE is the acronym for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy. But C-PACE stands for much more. It is a simple and effective way for county governments to create jobs, retain businesses, and keep dollars in the local economy without raising taxes – simply by helping to make commercial   buildings more energy-efficient.

C-PACE is a government policy based on the principle that commercial energy projects – such as installing solar equipment or improving a building’s heat recovery system – are public benefits like sewers, roads, and bridges. C-PACE authorizes counties to work with private capital providers to provide upfront financing to commercial property owners for qualifying improvement projects, and to collect the repayment through annual or semi-annual surcharges on the property’s tax bill.

By lowering that property’s energy expenses, C-PACE makes the building more inviting to tenants and, consequently, more valuable.  And with C-PACE, there are no upfront costs: C-PACE pays for 100% of a project and is repaid by the surcharge over a 20-year period. Moreover, the owner can sell the property, treat any expense as operational, and pass on costs to tenants.

C-PACE is underway in many states and has been named one of the Top Twenty World Changing Ideas by Scientific American magazine. Many county governments consider C-PACE a key component of their continuing efforts to promote economic development and to protect the environment.

Which means that C-PACE stands as a ready reply to the question, “What has my county government done for me?”

C-PACE allows:

Environmental Benefits

  • Assists states and local governments in reaching energy and water conservation goals
  • Reduces carbon emissions and water usage
  • Assist states in Clean Power Plan compliance

Economic Benefits

  • Lower utility bills for building owners
  • Local job creation

No Cost to Tax Payers

  • C-PACE financing is funded through private capital, with no cost to taxpayers

What property types can C-PACE finance?





Almost any commercial or industrial building, including offices, hotels, restaurants, farms, shopping centers and other retail properties, warehouses, garages, and factories, is eligible for C-PACE financing. Buildings used by non-profit organizations may also be eligible. Energy efficiency and energy generation improvements all qualify for C-PACE financing.

What measures are eligible for C-PACE finance?

Solar energy equipment

High-efficiency lighting and building systems​

High-efficiency boilers and furnaces, and heating ventilation​

Air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades​

High-efficiency hot water heating systems, combustion and burner upgrades, fuel switching, heat recovery and steam traps

Building shell or envelope improvements​

Building system energy management systems, and process equipment upgrades​

Geothermal energy devices​

Water conservation​