Clean energy upgrades can enhance commercial property values, achieve significant long-term cost savings, and give properties a competitive edge in the marketplace. Upfront costs, however, can sometimes prevent smaller entities from making these investments. Peoria County is working to remove this hurdle and promote more clean energy development in our community by implementing the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program, also known as C-PACE.
A C-PACE Primer
C-PACE is a financing option, allowable throughout participating governments in the State of Illinois, whereby property owners may obtain long-term, fixed-rate financing for building improvements related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, resiliency, water use and electric vehicle charging.
C-PACE financing allows property owners to extend the cost of improvements over the useful life of equipment. The longer term allows for larger, more impactful projects to be put into place. Lending terms could be as much as 20 to 30 years, and can result in cost savings that exceed the amount of C-PACE financing. The program allows for loans up to 100 percent of the cost of improvements.
Earlier this year, the Peoria County Board approved a partnership with the Illinois Energy Conservation Authority (IECA) to serve as the Peoria County C-PACE administrator locally. IECA will ensure projects meet the requirements of the C-PACE program and connect interested commercial property owners looking to do a qualified improvement with participating capital providers and contractors. Local contractors and capital providers will register with IECA to be added to the list of participants.
One of the distinguishing features of C-PACE is that it is secured by a special assessment lien on the property and is repaid as a line item on the owner’s Peoria County property tax bill. Peoria County Treasurer Nicole Bjerke will add the assessment to the property tax bill and then deliver payment to the capital provider until paid in full.
C-PACE special assessments “run with the land”; therefore, C-PACE is nonrecourse debt. It does not accelerate or become due upon the sale of the property. This allows property owners to invest in higher-cost, longer-term payback clean energy improvements.
New Participants Welcome
Peoria County’s C-PACE program is available to commercial, industrial and multifamily properties within its boundaries. This innovative method of financing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades enables the installation of projects that can impact a business’ bottom line immediately, with little to no upfront costs.
Peoria County and IECA welcome more participants as we begin rolling out C-PACE this fall. More details on property eligibility, qualified lenders and registered contractors are available through the IECA’s website at iecapace.org. Interested property owners, lenders and contractors may also contact Peoria County’s Sustainability and Resource Conservation Department at (309) 679-6690 or email@example.com. PM