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

What is C-PACE?

RI Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a financing program for commercial, industrial, agricultural, non-profit and multifamily (with 5 or more units) properties. C-PACE gives building owners owners access private-sector financing to upgrade their building with energy efficiency, clean energy, and water efficiency improvements. With C-PACE, building owners receive up to 100 percent financing with attractive repayment terms consistent with the useful life of the improvements (up to 25 years). This typically enables them to undertake larger building modernization projects that addresses multiple deficiencies.

In well-designed C-PACE projects, the energy cost savings exceed the PACE payments, creating a cash-flow-positive project. By using C-PACE, building owners can reduce their operating costs, improve the value and competitiveness of their building, meet energy performance goals, and increase their cash flow. C-PACE is also available to developers with new construction projects if they design their building to exceed current energy codes.

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. The assessment is repaid over the financing term (up to 25 years, project dependent) and the annual energy cost savings will, in most cases, exceed the annual assessment payment. As a result such projects are typically cash flow positive in the first year. Because the C-PACE assessment obligation runs with the property, the assessment automatically transfers to the next owner when the property is sold.

What are the responsibilities for a municipality participating in the C-PACE program?

Upon a C-PACE project finance closing, the program administrator and/or the RIIB will provide written notice of the PACE assessment to the municipality and the municipality shall place a lien on the qualifying commercial property to secure payment of the PACE assessment.

RI C-PACE is centralizing the C-PACE assessment billing and collection process on behalf of all municipalities. The RIIB has retained Vision Government Services Inc. (Vision) to provide billing and collection servicing of RI C-PACE assessments on behalf of participating municipalities. Vision, on behalf of the participating municipalities, will bill C-PACE assessments in the same manner as it bills its real property taxes or other municipal assessments.

What are the benefits to municipalities that participate in the C-PACE program?

The C-PACE program is designed to empower commercial and industrial building owners to modernize their building energy infrastructure, lower energy use and costs, reduce water usage, improve environmental health and safety, increase building comfort and asset value – with no upfront costs.  These C-PACE financed projects also advance participating municipalities public policy goals to:

  • Create local jobs
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increase renewable energy deployment.

The C-PACE program-generated local economic development impacts require no taxpayer funds, as C-PACE projects are all financed by private capital providers.

What are the costs to municipal governments?

RI C-PACE expects minimal administrative costs to be incurred by participating municipalities.

How does a municipality become eligible to participate in the C-PACE program?

In order to become eligible, RI C-PACE requires each municipality that chooses to implement the C-PACE program to pass a resolution designating it as a “C-PACE Participating Municipality” and adopting the RIIB-Municipality Participation Agreement.

Will C-PACE support municipalities that wish to participate in outreach and education efforts?

Yes, please contact the program administrator via email at info@RI-CPACE.com to arrange a meeting to discuss outreach and education efforts in your municipality.

How is a C-PACE assessment repaid?

C-PACE assessment repayment is managed through a new line item on the building’s property tax or other municipal bill. Typically the C-PACE assessment annual payments are less than the annual dollar value of the energy saved. As a result such projects are typically cash flow positive to the owner in the first year.

What happens if the building owner defaults on a C-PACE payment?

Under the RI C-PACE Statute, the C-PACE special assessment is subject to the same penalties and the same procedures in the case of delinquency as is provided for through ad valorem (i.e. property) taxes. The C-PACE assessment has priority over all private liens on the property, is of equal priority to other special assessments, and is junior in priority to general property taxes.

What are the risks associated with C-PACE financings?

If a building owner is deficient or delinquent on their C-PACE assessment, C-PACE is not responsible to cover the shortfall. As a C-PACE assessment is associated with the property, not the building owner, in the case of a non-payment, the assessment (which is a priority lien) will fall into arrears and be repaid after all other taxes are satisfied and prior to any outstanding mortgage.

In the event of a bankruptcy, how is recovery money allocated?

Municipal liens related to real property have first priority, followed by any C-PACE payments in arrears, followed by non-real property municipal liens and assessments, followed by the first mortgage holder.

How is the program marketed to contractors and building owners?

The C-PACE program administrator will actively engage with building owners, contractors, mortgage holders and capital providers to raise program awareness. In addition, the program administrator will provide municipal governments (and others) with educational material, including:

  • Data on eligible building types
  • Marketing material
  • In-depth training for contractors seeking to develop projects for building owners.
How does a building owner apply for C-PACE project financing?

To apply for C-PACE financing, download the Application Form  from the building owners “how it works”  page of this website.  Upon Application Form completion, submit the completed application and all attachments via email to application@RI-CPACE.com

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.

Which municipalities are participating in C-PACE?

Visit the Participating Municipalities page for a current list of municipalities participating in the C-PACE program. The program administrator can accept applications only from owners with properties located in a municipality that has opted in to the C-PACE program. If you have questions about getting any municipality to join C-PACE, email info@RI-CPACE.com.

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