C-PACE in Virginia

Program Status

Several localities across the Commonwealth have established or are currently developing C-PACE programs.

Arlington CountyActive; launched in January 2018; program administrator: Sustainable Real Estate Solutions
City of AlexandriaOrdinance in development
City of FredericksburgActive; launched in December 2018; program administrator: Virginia PACE Authority
City of LynchburgOrdinance enacted; ordinance passed in December 2019
City of NorfolkOrdinance passed in May 2020
City of PetersburgOrdinance enacted; ordinance passed in July 2019
City of RichmondOrdinance enacted; ordinance passed in November 2019
City of RoanokeOrdinance passed in October 2020
Fairfax CountyActive; launched in February 2020; program administrator: Virginia PACE Authority
Loudoun CountyActive; launched in November 2019; program administrator: Virginia PACE Authority
Town of DumfriesOrdinance enacted; ordinance passed in December 2019
Statewide ProgramIn development (details below)

C-PACE finances clean energy and resiliency renovations for commercial and multifamily buildings.

Enabling Legislation

Virginia joined more than 36 states and the District of Columbia in adopting C-PACE legislation in 2009 and adopting amendments in 2015. It is up to each locality to pass a C-PACE ordinance if they would like to offer a program.

The 2020 General Assembly passed legislation allowing Virginia to offer a statewide C-PACE program. A statewide program administrator will design and develop a standardized program that local governments can decide to join. Local governments will still be required to pass an enabling ordinance, which would include the parameters of the standard program. The state energy office is in the process of developing the statewide program and will be issuing an RFP for a program administrator soon.

VAEEC’s Efforts

The VAEEC is committed to accelerating the implementation and utilization of C-PACE throughout Virginia. Combining efforts with other stakeholders, we are working to facilitate interest in C-PACE by building a coalition of supporters and engaging with localities. We continue to be a neutral, trusted resource on C-PACE and are actively meeting with local governments across Virginia to discuss all available options and help each locality determine which option best suits their needs.

A partnership between VA, D.C., and MD to advance C-PACE financing throughout the region

In 2017, the VAEEC joined the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance (MAPA), which is comprised of state agencies, non-profit institutions, and private businesses working to accelerate the development and utilization of C-PACE in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. This effort, which is being led by the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, promotes the collaboration among local and state governments, capital providers, C-PACE program administrators, energy service contractors, and building owners to create low-cost, standardized guidelines that will enhance financing efficiency and increase the volume of C-PACE projects. The goal is to achieve consistency and growth in C-PACE programs within the tri-state area to generate a minimum of $80 million in C-PACE loan closings by 2020.

Resources for Local Governments and Other Stakeholders

This is an exciting time for C-PACE in Virginia, as more and more options and resources are becoming available for localities. The VAEEC believes that having a variety of C-PACE program options is crucial to accelerating the number of and demand for C-PACE programs in Virginia. By increasing the number of options available, localities are more likely to find a program administrative model that fits their goals and needs.

GIS Maps

In 2019 the VAEEC created several maps of C-PACE eligible buildings in key localities across the Commonwealth. The maps help visualize the supply of C-PACE eligible buildings within these localities while also demonstrating the potential demand for C-PACE. For more information or to view the maps, click here.

Virginia Model Ordinance

In early 2018, the VAEEC released a Virginia model ordinance for localities to use when crafting their own program. The ordinance was commissioned following review and input from a wide variety of C-PACE experts in the lending, local government, engineering, legal, and policy fields. This document incorporates key factors that we consider to be crucial to implementing an effective C-PACE program. The VAEEC’s Virginia model ordinance can be downloaded here. An abbreviated ordinance was created by the Virginia PACE Authority (VPA) using this ordinance as their template. The VPA ordinance can be viewed here.

MAPA Implementation Toolkit

As part of its mission to accelerate the development and utilization of C-PACE in the Mid-Atlantic region, MAPA has created program implementation guidance. The toolkit is a resource for stakeholders, including but not limited to local governments, program administrators, building owners, contractors, capital providers, and local lenders, providing best practices specific to this region. For localities, the provided guidance and resources streamline efforts to develop and launch a C-PACE program. The regional toolkit can be viewed on the MAPA website.

RFP Template

An RFP template has been created for localities to use when crafting a Request for Proposals for Program Administrator services.

Cooperative Procurement

Under Virginia law, localities can rely on another locality’s procurement process, so long as the prior locality’s ordinance specifically allows other localities to do so, which eliminates the need for a locality to go through their own RFP process to hire a third-party administrator. Some early adopters of C-PACE have added this provision to their ordinances.

Letter of Support Templates

Over the past few years, the VAEEC has seen how constituent support and outreach play a critical role in getting localities to move forward with developing a program. If you are interested in C-PACE and would like to contact your local government officials to urge them to launch a program, the VAEEC has created template letters to help you craft your message.

C-PACE 101

C-PACE is an innovative way to finance clean energy and resiliency projects on commercial, multifamily, and nonprofit buildings (excluding condos and properties with less than five dwellings). The loans are designed to be long-term (up to 20+ years) secured by a lien that has a priority status equal to a tax assessment, thus senior to a mortgage lien. By setting up a C-PACE program, a locality can enable private sector loans for 100% of total project costs by placing a special assessment lien on the property that the owner repays over time as part of his/her tax or utility bill.

To learn more about C-PACE, check out the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance’s resources page for fact sheets, FAQs, case studies, and more.

Additional resources

View our C-PACE recommendations in our report: Why Energy Efficiency is a Smart Investment for Virginia

Read our letter to the City of Richmond’s City Council regarding their C-PACE ordinance here.

December 2019 Webinar: The Evolution of C-PACE in the Mid-Atlantic

September 2018 Webinar: C-PACE in Virginia- Resources Available to Localities

September 2017 Webinar: Commercial PACE Financing in Virginia

October 2016 Webinar: PACE in Virginia

VAEEC Blog Posts & Updates

By now, many people in this industry have at least heard of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE. Across
We are excited to announce that there has been a lot of C-PACE movement in Virginia over the past couple
There has been an increase in C-PACE activity and progress across the Commonwealth in the past few months, including several
The much anticipated MAPA Regional Toolkit has been released!  The Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance, or MAPA, is comprised of state agencies,
The VAEEC has been focused on advancing Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, financing across the Commonwealth for the
On November 29, 2017, the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council held our latest Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, Lunch

Blog Post Archive

News Articles


Mar 20

Virginia church’s efficiency retrofit poised to be state’s first PACE project

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax wants to finance upgrades to its sprawling, 1960s-era HVAC system. If all the pieces...
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Feb 20

C-PACE launches program for commercial energy and resiliency projects

Fairfax County’s C-PACE program gives commercial building owners an avenue for obtaining private funding to support capital improvement projects intended...
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Dec 19

Major US States, Counties, and Cities Embrace a New Tool to Pay for Energy Efficiency

Today, the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Alliance industry coalition spotlighted the new programs authorized in New York, Illinois,...
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