Using C-PACE to Free Up Capital and Reduce Costs in the Covid-19 Economy

As individuals and businesses across the country continue to navigate the difficult Covid-19 situation, the Philadelphia Energy Authority continues to operate the Philadelphia Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to help commercial building owners reduce their carbon footprints while improving their financial health.

C-PACE provides long-term, fixed-rate and low-cost capital to commercial property owners for energy efficiency, water conservation and clean energy projects, and can be used to retroactively finance or refinance energy efficient construction already completed. 

Many businesses are facing unprecedented challenges right now. Though energy efficiency projects may not be top of mind, C-PACE provides a useful opportunity to leverage inexpensive, long-term capital to create cost savings, provide liquidity, and improve public health – all of which strengthen businesses for the long term. 

Here are three ways C-PACE can benefit your business: 

1. Energy efficiency projects financed with C-PACE can generate annual savings:  C-PACE energy efficiency and water conservation projects must result in cost savings. Often, the annual C-PACE repayment is less than the cost savings per year, creating positive net operating income. Property owners can use C-PACE to cover 100% of hard and soft project costs. During difficult economic times, zero dollars out of pocket combined with recurring cost savings can help commercial property owners boost their financial health. 

2. Retroactive financing can reduce debt service payments or free up cash for businesses: Commercial property owners that completed an eligible project in the past two years may be able to retroactively finance their projects with C-PACE. Retroactive financing allows property owners to replace more expensive debt with C-PACE’s low-rate, long-term financing. If there isn’t a previous financing to replace, retroactive C-PACE financing can provide a cash infusion, bolstering the business’ cash on hand. 

3. Addressing Philadelphia’s carbon footprint creates a more resilient city: Seventy percent of Philadelphia’s carbon footprint comes from buildings and industry. Energy efficiency and clean energy projects reduce Philly’s carbon emissions, which is more important than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. Studies show that populations with high levels of air pollution are hit harder by Covid-19, so every step we take to reduce emissions will affect the health of all Philadelphians.  Most C-PACE projects reduce emissions, which helps fight climate change and results in cleaner air, healthier people and a more resilient workforce. 

During this uncertain time, C-PACE is a flexible tool that can help commercial property owners weather this storm and strengthen their businesses in the long term.

For more information or to discuss a specific project, email

Philadelphia Opens Applications for New Solar Rebate to Encourage Property Owners to Install Solar

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability and the Philadelphia Energy Authority have opened applications for the Philadelphia Solar Rebate, an incentive program to encourage property owners to install solar photovoltaic systems in Philadelphia by providing $0.10 per watt to commercial projects and $0.20 per watt to residential projects ($1,000 for an average row home installation). Visit to learn more and apply.

This one-time incentive payment will be issued by the City after the solar project has been installed and has received Permission to Operate from PECO. To be eligible to apply for the Solar Rebate, applicants must:

  • Have installed solar on their property located in the city of Philadelphia.
  • Have received Permission to Operate from PECO on or after July 1, 2019.
  • Be current with or in a payment agreement for all taxes and other indebtedness to the City.
  • Not have any unresolved building code or other property-related code violations.

Government or government-related projects will be subject to approval based solely on the discretion of the Sustainability Director.

Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Payments will be processed within 4–6 weeks, pending availability of funds. The Solar Rebate is not to exceed a total payment of $100,000 per project. If not enough funds are available in a given fiscal year, your application will be considered to have been filed on the first day of the next fiscal year.

The Solar Rebate is one of several measures supported by Mayor Kenney and passed by Philadelphia City Council in 2019 that support solar adoption. Other initiatives included a reduction in solar permit fees, a measure to enable solar canopies, and Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE).

The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) is administering the Solar Rebate on behalf of the Office of Sustainability. PEA runs other solar market development programs, including Solarize Philly, the nation’s largest group buying program to support rooftop solar, and Bright Solar Futures, a solar training program for Philadelphia’s young people.

Visit to learn more and apply. Contact us at with any questions.