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Amy  Hourigan
Chief Marketing Officer
Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Inc.

Program Overview

Project financing, which requires no taxpayer funds, is crucial to meeting Rhode Island’s public policy goals that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy deployment and create local jobs.

For building owners, the Rhode Island C-PACE (Program) solves important financial hurdles by providing:

  • 100 percent financing (project dependent, up to 25 year term; no out-of-pocket costs)
  • Competitive, fixed interest rates
  • Project qualification is based on building finances, not the owner’s credit, net worth or personal guarantee
  • On an annual basis, typical projects are cash flow positive to the owner

All projects have multiple participants including government officials, building owners, contractors, capital providers and banks which hold a first mortgage. Each of these “stakeholders” has an important role to play in the development and implementation of a successful Project.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the “>” icon associated with each question to view the answer.

Which municipalities are participating in the C-PACE program?

Check out this map to see which municipalities are participating in the C-PACE program.

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.

What are the costs to municipal governments?

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

Is the program voluntary for building owners?

Yes. Owners who choose not to participate remain unaffected.

What property types are eligible for C-PACE Financing?

Commercial, industrial, agricultural, non-profit and multifamily (with five or more units) properties are eligible to participate in the C-PACE program. C-PACE financing is only available for buildings that are located in a municipality that has opted to participate in the program.

What energy efficiency improvements are eligible?

A list of eligible energy efficiency improvements can be found here.

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.

In the event of 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.

Does a contractor need any special licensing or certification?

All contractors should be in compliance with Rhode Island State and local license requirements. In addition, attendance at one of the recurring C-PACE contractor training workshops is required to become a C-PACE registered contractor. There is no charge for attending these sessions. Visit the Events page for a calendar of scheduled workshops.

How does a contractor register for the program?

A contractor registers for the program by submitting Contractor Registration Form. Click here to download the form.

What is the role of the mortgage holder?

C-PACE project financing is repaid via a voluntary assessment (lien) placed on the property by the municipal tax assessor and assigned to the financial institution that provides financing for the energy efficiency improvement project.  Since the C-PACE assessment has priority lien status, similar to a sewer assessment, the existing mortgage holder will be asked to provide its consent to the C-PACE financing. Such consent is entirely voluntary on the part of the mortgage holder.

Why have mortgage holders embraced well-designed C-PACE projects?

The majority of C-PACE projects generate positive cash flow based on the energy savings. For this reason C-PACE projects typically have a positive impact to a mortgage holder’s key questions – What is the project’s impact to:

  • Borrower’s repayment ability?
  • Collateral value?

To support mortgage holder project evaluations, the C-PACE program administration team provides an independent 3rd party review of the technical and financial projections. Such review is consistent with industry best-practice methodology as defined in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project protocol. Moreover, the C-PACE team leverages its proven project optimization tools and extensive “project experience” databases to facilitate quality assurance across the project development life cycle.

Given the cash flow generating characteristics of C-PACE projects, over one hundred mortgage lenders nationwide have consented to C-PACE projects as of October 2015.  See a list of consenting lenders from a PACENow July 2017 Lender Consent Study.