Displayed below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Click on the “>” icon associated with each question to view the answer.

Who administers C-PACE?

After a competitive bidding process, the RIIB selected Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Inc. (SRS) to be the RI C-PACE program administrator.

How do I know if my municipality is participating in the C-PACE program?

Visit the Participating Municipalities page for a current list of municipalities participating in the C-PACE program. C-PACE may only accept applications from property owners located in counties that have joined the program by passing a simple opt-in resolution. Feel free to email info@RI-CPACE.com if you have questions about getting your municipality to join C-PACE.

What is a C-PACE project developer, and do I need one?

Like the name suggests, a C-PACE project developer is a full-service firm experienced in C-PACE project development, which includes energy and financial modeling. Contact a C-PACE project developer if you’d like to discuss how C-PACE financing can fit into your capital stack, and the steps you need to take to qualify for financing.

Does C-PACE use taxpayer dollars to fund projects?

No. C-PACE uses private capital to fund every project.  Visit the Capital Providers page of this website for a current list of capital providers participating in the C-PACE program. The cost to administer the program is paid by program participants through a Program Administration fee that is included in the total cost of each project.

When is the C-PACE assessment recorded on the property?

Upon closing of C-PACE financing, the program administrator instructs the municipal tax assessor to record an assessment (lien) on the municipality’s land records

Is this a voluntary program?

Yes. Owners who choose not to participate remain unaffected.

What are typical C-PACE financing interest rates?

To ensure the best possible terms, including interest rate and other fees, the building owner can review term sheets from multiple private capital providers, facilitated by the program administrator, to select the best fit.

How is the length of the repayment period determined?

Repayment periods can be 10, 15, 20, or 25 years, depending on the owner’s preference, and are limited by the weighted average effective useful life (EUL) of the financed improvements.

How are tax credits, rebates and utility incentives incorporated into C-PACE financing?

Property owners are encouraged to pursue available federal investment tax credits (ITC), utility rebates, and all other available incentives. All or a portion of total incentives may be subtracted from the amount financed under the C-PACE program.

Are there fees associated with pre-payment of a C-PACE assessment?

Each C-PACE participating private capital provider sets its own terms, including pre-payment, in its financing agreement with the building owner. It is common for C-PACE capital providers to include a pre-payment fee schedule.

Can I use any contractor?

Yes, however it is important that your contractor become a C-PACE registered contractor.   For more information on the registered contractor process, see the C-PACE Program Guidelines or email info@RI-CPACE.com.

Is there an application fee for C-PACE?

No there is no fee to apply for C-PACE financing.

What is C-PACE for new construction?

Rhode Island commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) is an innovative new financing mechanism that allows developers to access affordable, long-term, non-recourse financing for the installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in new buildings. Financing is provided by private capital providers through an open-market model to enable competitive rates and terms, and is repaid through a voluntary assessment recorded on the property. (C-PACE is similar to a sewer assessment, except that it is voluntary).

You can use C-PACE if you design your building to exceed Rhode Island’s current energy code by at least 15 percent. It allows you to access up to 20 percent of your total eligible construction cost and use that money to reduce your equity contribution or other forms of high-cost financing. Repayment terms go up to 25 years, and you can transfer the assessment to a new owner if you sell the property.

Repayment is facilitated through the municipal property tax assessment process. A voluntary assessment (similar to a sewer district assessment) is placed on the building owner’s property tax or other municipal bill.

What installations are eligible for C-PACE financing?

The following list of typical, proven energy efficiency technologies is intended as a reference. The program administrator will review other proposed ECM(s) on a case-by-case basis.

Energy efficiency

  • Automated building controls (BMS, EMS)
  • Boilers, chillers and furnaces
  • Building envelope (insulation, glazing, windows, etc.)
  • High efficiency lighting
  • Water heating systems
  • HVAC
  • Roof (if used to support a solar PV system

Renewable energy

  • Combined heat and power (CHP) systems
  • Fuel cells
  • Geothermal systems
  • Hydroelectric systems
  • Small wind systems
  • Solar PV
  • Solar thermal.
  • Renewable energy

Water conservation

  • Irrigation systems
  • Low-flow fixtures

Other eligible expenses

  • Commissioning costs
  • Energy audits
  • Engineering and design expenses
  • Permit fees
  • Renewable energy feasibility studies.

This list is not comprehensive. Any improvements that result in utility cost savings and meet other program criteria will be considered under C-PACE. See the C-PACE Program Guide, Section 3.B. Eligible Projects, for more information.

What are the benefits of C-PACE financing for developers?

C-PACE financing allows developers to access affordable, fixed-rate, non-recourse financing for up to 20 percent of their total eligible construction cost, provided they design their building to exceed the current energy code. In addition, there is no out-of-pocket expense upfront and a personal guarantee is not required. The money can be used to reduce the developer’s equity contribution or other forms of high-cost capital, and the builder ends up with a more efficient, more valuable, and more competitive building.

Are C-PACE assessments considered off-balance sheet?

Developers are encouraged to consult their accountants on this matter. 

Is there clarity on the treatment of C-PACE as an operating expense from the perspective of the accounting industry?

Developers are encouraged to consult their accountants on this matter. 

From an accounting perspective, have any auditing firms concluded that the tax lien (which supports the financing) is not a liability of the owner or the building?

There has been no specific ruling by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on this issue. 

How do developers qualify for financing?

Developers must design their buildings to exceed current Rhode Island energy code by at least 15 percent to qualify.

How do I apply for C-PACE financing for my project?

To apply for C-PACE financing, download the Application Form from the developers “How it Works” page of this website.  Submit the completed application and any attachments application@ri-cpace.com.

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