Featured

First Solar Project to Use C-PACE in Pennsylvania Closes in Philadelphia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

CONTACT:
Maryrose Myrtetus, Philadelphia Energy Authority 
215-431-5641 (cell)
mmyrtetus@philaenergy.org

Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia Energy Authority, Greenworks Lending, and the Capers Company LLC  announced today the financial close of the first project in Pennsylvania to use Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing for a renewable energy project as part of a series of announcements being released during Philadelphia Solar Week. Capers Company LLC is borrowing $519,020 in C-PACE financing from Greenworks Lending to install a 212-kilowatt solar system on a building in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. K.E.S. LLC is the solar developer. The solar array is projected to generate 266,673 kWh in its first year of operation, meeting nearly 100% of the electricity needs of the building’s tenants. By using solar energy, the building will reduce its carbon footprint by 6,900 metric tons of CO2e emissions over the life of the project. 

Under the leadership of Councilmember Derek S. Green (At Large), Philadelphia City Council passed legislation enabling C-PACE financing in Philadelphia in June 2019. “We saw C-PACE as a tool to open up new markets for clean energy investments in our City,” said Green. “This solar project proves that C-PACE does just that.”  

William Capers, Principal of the Capers Company, says, “We feel it is most suitable and fitting that this project benefits a building that caters to the care of children, supporting them now and with the goal of leaving a better earth for them. I am happy to be a part of a project that will help decrease a necessary cost associated with operating a childcare center.”  

Jessica Bailey, Greenworks CEO and Co-Founder, stated that “Solar can immediately help decrease a building’s operating expenses while lowering its carbon footprint and has been a key piece of the Greenworks story since we started. C-PACE finance offers a powerful solution to build these projects where they might not otherwise have made fiscal sense. We are proud to expand our offering into Pennsylvania and provide financing for the first C-PACE-financed solar project in the Commonwealth.”   

“This is the second C-PACE financing to close in Philadelphia this summer, showing the breadth of projects that C-PACE enables,” noted Maryrose Myrtetus, the Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Program Manager overseeing the Philadelphia C-PACE program. “The first financing covered energy and water efficiency improvements in a new mixed-use gut-rehab project in Kensington. It is notable as well that this solar project pencils out without grants, simply utilizing the energy savings, C-PACE financing structure, tax benefits and anticipated Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) revenue.” 

The line-up of virtual events for Philadelphia’s second annual Solar Week includes a webinar on Thursday, August 20th titled Good for Business: Trailblazing Commercial Solar Projects, which will include information on C-PACE and another commercial solar project announcement. Find details about all Solar Week events at solarizephilly.org.  

About the Philadelphia Energy Authority 

The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) is an independent municipal authority created in 2010 to advance energy affordability and sustainability for the City. PEA has facilitated over $136 million in clean energy projects in Philadelphia since launching the Philadelphia Energy Campaign in 2016, creating more than 1,300 jobs.  As Program Administrator, PEA reviews and approves applications, manages the billing and lien processes, engages in market education and supports the growth of the Philadelphia C-PACE program. 

About Philadelphia C-PACE 

Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing allows commercial property owners to borrow money for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. Repayments are made via a special assessment similar to a property tax assessment. Key features include: 100% of project costs can be financed; repayment terms are up to 30 years; the special assessment stays with the property in the event of a sale. 

For more information, visit www.philadelphiacpace.org

About Greenworks Lending 

Greenworks Lending is the largest provider of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing in the country. Led by several of the industry’s founding policy developers and standard-setters, Greenworks Lending is a private capital provider uniquely dedicated to funding commercial real estate through C-PACE. Greenworks has provided financing to hundreds of commercial properties in more than a dozen states. Greenworks Lending’s C-PACE financing makes clean energy a smart financial decision for commercial property owners. 


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Featured

First Pennsylvania C-PACE Deal Inked: $1.5 Million of Energy and Water Efficiency Investments in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA ENERGY AUTHORITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: JULY 17, 2020

CONTACT: Maryrose Myrtetus, Philadelphia Energy Authority, 215-431-5641 (cell), mmyrtetus@philaenergy.org

Philadelphia, July 17, 2020 –

The Philadelphia Energy Authority, Twain Financial Partners and SHIFT Capital announced today the financial close of the first project in Pennsylvania to use Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing. SHIFT Capital is borrowing $1,500,000 in C-PACE financing from Twain Financial to pay for energy and water efficiency upgrades to a new mixed-use development in the Kensington-Harrowgate neighborhood of Philadelphia.

SHIFT Capital’s project, J-centrel, is key to the company’s unique approach to urban development. J-centrel provides 30,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space, including retail storefronts, spaces for entrepreneurs and artists, and an accelerator for local businesses. It also features 116 converted loft-style apartments. The C-PACE financing is being used to pay for measures that will reduce the operating costs in the commercial spaces, including LED lighting, window replacements with insulation and low-e glazing, energy recovery units, variable refrigerant flow heat pumps, and low-flow plumbing. Together, the measures are expected to reduce the building’s total carbon footprint by 2,700 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

Under the leadership of Councilmember Derek S. Green (At Large), Philadelphia City Council passed legislation enabling C-PACE financing in Philadelphia in June 2019. “I am so proud to see the state’s first C-PACE deal close in Philadelphia. C-PACE is a game-changing tool that brings private sector investment to our city to create jobs, fight climate change, improve public health and help businesses save money,” said Green. “I’m proud to have led the charge to establish this important initiative in partnership with the Philadelphia Energy Authority and I look forward to more C-PACE projects to come.”

C-PACE was enabled in Pennsylvania in 2018 through legislation sponsored by State Senator John Blake (D-Lackawanna County). “We worked for years in Harrisburg to finally get C-PACE across the finish line because we understood the economic and environmental benefits of this creative, market-driven funding mechanism to enable businesses to make important water conservation and energy efficiency upgrades,” Sen. Blake said. “I hope and expect that this $1.5 million investment is the first of many impactful C-PACE projects across the Commonwealth. I applaud the work of the Philadelphia Energy Authority for initiating the first C-PACE project in Pennsylvania.”

 “SHIFT Capital is excited to use C-PACE for our J-centrel project. C-PACE was a key tool for rounding out our capital stack, reducing ongoing operating costs, and making our building more green,” said Brian Murray, CEO and Founder of Shift Capital, the developer of J-centrel. “C-PACE provided us with competitively-priced financing and a long-term repayment schedule to allow the energy efficiency improvements for the commercial portion of the project to be cash flow positive right away.”

“Twain Financial is thrilled to be the capital provider for the first-ever Pennsylvania C-PACE project,” said Paul Thompson, Business Development Officer at Twain Financial. “Bringing C-PACE to a new state creates an opportunity for additional developers to see the positive impact these projects will have on their communities. As a PACE investor in other markets since 2016, we have seen how C-PACE allows projects to overcome challenges that have hindered adoption of energy efficiency and related projects in commercial buildings.”  

Emily Schapira, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Energy Authority, the Philadelphia C-PACE Program Administrator, said, “With this project, Pennsylvania C-PACE is open for business. Philadelphia is leading the charge in building a robust, equitable clean energy economy, and we are proud to be home to the state’s first C-PACE deal.”

Today, PEA also announced the launch of a new website for the Philadelphia C-PACE program, PhiladelphiaCPACE.org.

About the Philadelphia Energy Authority

The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) is an independent municipal authority created in 2010 to advance energy affordability and sustainability for the City. PEA has facilitated over $136 million in clean energy projects in Philadelphia since launching the Philadelphia Energy Campaign in 2016, creating more than 1,300 jobs.  As Program Administrator, PEA reviews and approves applications, manages the billing and lien processes, engages in market education and supports the growth of the Philadelphia C-PACE program.

About Philadelphia C-PACE

Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing allows commercial property owners to borrow money for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. Repayments are made via a special assessment similar to a property tax assessment. Key features include: 100% of project costs can be financed; repayment terms are up to 30 years; the special assessment stays with the property in the event of a sale.

For more information, visit www.philadelphiacpace.org.

About SHIFT Capital

SHIFT Capital is a solutions-based neighborhood investment group who takes an integrated approach to developing equitable inclusive communities that thrive. SHIFT is a Certified B Corporation® who deploys development strategies in underserved neighborhoods that align patient capital with long-term community success to help catalyze shared prosperity, build wealth for the existing community, and strategically preserve affordability and minimize displacement.

About Twain Financial

Twain Financial Partners is an investment management firm located in St. Louis, Missouri with over $4 billion in assets under management within the public-private partnership sector. The firm works with a wide variety of investment types, specializing in tax credit, structured debt and real estate transactions. Twain works closely with financial institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals to structure and manage investments that offer both attractive economic return and social benefits.

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Roof Project? C-PACE Can Help With That.

Roof improvements are critical to building health and efficiency. But they can also be expensive. Fortunately, C-PACE can finance roof improvements made in tandem with ongoing building improvements, roof work on new construction projects, and rooftop projects like solar and green roofs.

There are a variety of roof improvement projects that can increase a building’s energy efficiency or renewable power generation, thereby making them eligible for C-PACE financing. These projects include:  

  • High-efficiency membranes and coatings
  • Sealing and other building envelope improvements
  • Increased insulation 
  • Green roofs 
  • Solar panels 
  • Ancillary costs – Additional structural or electrical work needed to accommodate a solar or other clean energy generation project  

In general, roof improvements must fall in-line with the definitions of an Energy Efficient Improvement or Renewable Energy Project, per the C-PACE Program Guidelines. However, if you are considering a roof improvement not listed above and not included in the Program Guidelines, PEA will review proposed measures on a case-by-case basis.

What if you want to do a roof project on a mixed-use building with commercial spaces on the ground floor and residential units on the higher floors? Under current law, residential and multifamily properties are not eligible for C-PACE financing, which means using C-PACE on mixed-use developments requires a few additional steps. If the commercial entity in a mixed-use building wants to use C-PACE to finance an energy-efficient roof project (including a replacement, green roof, updated insulation, etc.) but the commercial entity is not directly connected to the roof itself (e.g. the residential floors are above the commercial floors), the commercial and residential portions of the building must be separately titled. This could be accomplished by a subdivision of the building or creation of a condo. C-PACE financing may then be applied to the commercial portion of the building. If the roof is titled in the commercial portion of the building, C-PACE financing may be used for roof projects. 

For solar projects only, the property owner may choose to separately title the commercial and residential portions of the building as described above. Or they may have the commercial portion of the building enter into an appurtenant easement agreement (that runs with the title of the commercial portion) with the residential portion of the building giving the commercial portion full rights and access to the roof, preferably for the life of the building, or in any event at least the useful life of the equipment, and for no shorter than the term of the C-PACE financing.

Are you managing a building in Philadelphia and thinking about making roof improvements? 

Contact us at CPACE@philaenergy.org to see if C-PACE is a good fit for you!

Featured

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 CPACE@philaenergy.org

PEA Launches Philadelphia C-PACE Program to Spur Commercial Solar and Energy Efficiency Market in Philadelphia

For immediate release: October 23, 2019 
Contact: Maryrose Myrtetus, mmyrtetus@philaenergy.org, 215-686-4483

Philadelphia, October 23, 2019 – Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), Councilmember Derek S. Green (At Large) and the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) announced the launch today of Philadelphia’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. C-PACE lets commercial and industrial building owners finance energy and water efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations through a special assessment similar to a property tax assessment. C-PACE will help kickstart the commercial solar market in Philadelphia and support both new construction and retrofit projects to install more energy efficient equipment.

C-PACE will help the City meet its carbon reduction goals, create jobs, and provide significant utility savings for participating buildings. The voluntary program allows property owners to access long-term financing that matches the useful life of the installed improvements generally at lower costs. Participating projects must be located within the boundaries of Philadelphia and engage in eligible energy and/or water savings projects or renewable energy projects.

“C-PACE is another example of how the Philadelphia Energy Authority works with different stakeholders to drive private investment in Philadelphia that creates the jobs of the future and opportunities for our young people, all while creating cost savings and carbon savings for the city,” Council President Clarke said. “C-PACE is good for business and good for the environment – it’s a win-win.”

“C-PACE is a game-changing initiative for our City,” said Councilmember Green. “Philadelphia now has a new financing tool to build a robust clean energy economy that will fight climate change, improve public health and well-being, and save our commercial sector money. I’m proud to have led the charge to establish this important initiative.”

PEA is the Program Administrator for Philadelphia’s C-PACE Program. It has been engaged in a yearlong statewide stakeholder process to facilitate feedback and ideas from residents, lenders, commercial property owners, other government entities and others. As Program Administrator in Philadelphia, PEA will review and approve applications, manage billing, file liens, and perform other general administrative duties.

“Philadelphia is once again showing its leadership in the green economy,” said Emily Schapira, Executive Director of PEA. “Over $1 billion in C-PACE deals have been executed nationwide, and we are proud to join our peers in enabling this important tool.”

Pennsylvania was the 36th state to authorize the creation of C-PACE financing when Governor Tom Wolf signed it into law on June 12, 2018. With the leadership of Councilmember Green, Philadelphia City Council authorized C-PACE for the City of Philadelphia on July 20, 2019 and assigned PEA as Program Administrator. The bill was signed into law by Mayor Kenney on August 14, 2019.

PEA will host a webinar on October 30, 2019, at 1pm ET to review the program guidelines. For more information on the webinar and the Philadelphia C-PACE program in general, visit cpacephiladelphia.org.

The Philadelphia Energy Authority was formed in 2010 to support the city on energy affordability and sustainability, including developing long-term energy programs and policies. Visit philaenergy.org for more information.