Last month, Delaware Governor John Carney signed Senate Bill 113 into law, enabling Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing in Delaware. Once implemented, PACE will offer a new method for financing commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
C-PACE allows commercial properties to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades and finance them through so called PACE loans, which are tacked onto their property taxes. The program was originally rolled out for residential homeowners (then it was just PACE, no “C”) but ran into trouble when the mortgage crisis hit and lenders were wary of impacting mortgages that might already be in jeopardy.
Commercial properties were seen as more stable and C-PACE programs have swept across the U.S. as an innovative way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on commercial properties. PACE loans are funded by private lenders and are paid back through a voluntary assessment on the property’s county tax bill.
PACENation, the national organization that advocates for PACE, reports that since 2009 more than $688 million has been invested in clean energy projects nationwide. It estimates that PACE projects have created 10,300 jobs, generated more than 6.3 million MWh of energy savings, and reduced CO2 emissions by more than 3.1 million metric tons (the equivalent of taking 657,000 cars off the road for one year.)
Governor Carney praised the bill’s potential impact on Delaware, “By offering another method of financing for energy efficiency projects, PACE will help Delaware further our goals to improve economic development, lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions.”
PACE has proven successful nationally in promoting the growth of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. With the signing of SB113, Delaware joins the ranks of the 34 other states that have signed PACE enabling legislation. The Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) will serve as the administrator of the PACE program.
“Our next step is to begin working on the program design,” says Tony DePrima, Executive Director of the DESEU. “We hope to have PACE up and running in the first quarter of 2019.”