By: Jessica Greene, VAEEC Program Coordinator
Last week I started my new position of Program Coordinator with Virginia Energy Efficiency Council, where a large portion of my job is dedicated to building coalitions of PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy financing) supporters throughout the Commonwealth. Being relatively new to the world of PACE, I immediately immersed myself in PACE research. Therefore, imagine my excitement when I learned VAEEC was kicking off their webinar series with a “PACE in Virginia” webinar!
The webinar promised an overview of PACE financing, including benefits to contractors and property owners, case studies, and a breakdown of what PACE looks like in Virginia, presented by three speakers with amply knowledge and experience in the field. And it delivered.
I found the webinar to be incredibly beneficial. Elyssa Rothe’s (PACENation) overview reinforced the basics of PACE, which provided good background knowledge for the rest of the presentation. Abigail Johnson (Abacus Property Solutions) dove further into the benefits of PACE and provided two case studies as examples. Bill Greenleaf (Virginia Community Capital) ended the webinar with a summary of what PACE looks like in Virginia.
Here are my greatest take-aways from the webinar:
- PACE is for energy efficiency and renewables and many different building types. can be used for projects that either reduce or generate energy, including energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy. Furthermore, it is available for all kinds of commercial building types; multi-family, hotel, office, retail, agriculture, and industrial. Government owned buildings are the only exception.
- PACE offers several advantages over traditional bank financing. It covers 100% of a project’s costs, while offering a competitive interest rate. Instead of the typical 5-7 year terms, PACE can be financed for up to 20 years, which lowers annual payments. Financing is repaid annually via the building’s property tax assessment. Additionally, assessments stay with the property and automatically transfer to a new owner.
- In Virginia, local governments must past ordinances to establish PACE programs or contract to a third party. Commercial PACE, or C-PACE, was enhanced in 2015 and applies to commercial buildings with at least 5 units.
If you were unable to attend the webinar, I urge you watch our “PACE in Virginia” webinar recording. Even if you already have a good understanding of PACE, this webinar will serve as a great refresher as you listen to experts well entrenched in the field.
Please note that we also have a PACE page on our website with updates and resources.