Localities in Virginia can now choose to participate in a statewide programme instead of having to set up their own financing for renewable energy projects at commercial sites, which was previously required.
The financing provides upfront fees with up to 30 years of property assessment bills as repayment.
C-PACE, which stands for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, is an energy-saving measure installation financing programme for commercial real estate. Examples include improved HVAC and insulation, solar panels, and charging stations for electric vehicles.
To manage C-PACE programmes for the Virginia Department of Energy, the state established the nonprofit Virginia PACE Authority.
The financing may be appealing to towns looking to increase their tax revenue and commercial activity, according to Ellen Dickson, who manages outreach for the Virginia Pace Authority. It also provides businesses with immediate energy cost reductions.
According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the financing has been used by 37 states and the District of Columbia. According to PACE Nation, the national charity that promotes the programme, Maryland’s programme, which has been in operation since 2014, includes 17 participating counties and has funded more than $80 million in projects.
It provides with yet another arrow in their quiver of economic growth tools, according to Dickson.
Cities and counties can choose to participate in the programme by passing a local ordinance, according to Dickson, and the Virginia PACE Authority has a “streamlined suite of paperwork” to make participation easier.
C-PACE financing can assist businesses in making a contribution to the greenhouse gas emission reductions that some regions in the state have set as goals. Since the statewide programme is only getting started, Dickson said, no studies have been done on it. Nevertheless, she cited examples of annual sustainability reports that some businesses have produced.
Dickson said, “They’re taking those types of measurements. It might be able to measure the statewide pollution reductions brought on by C-PACE funding, according to Dickson.
We don’t really have the equipment to begin that kind of research, but when projects get underway, I think we might be able to try to have that kind of measurement.
- Virginia introduces state-wide financing scheme for clean energy
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