C-PACE in Virginia

Program Status

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

Arlington County was the first locality in Virginia to offer a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. They announced their program administrator, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, in January 2017, passed the County Ordinance in November 2017, and officially launched their program in January 2018.

Since then, several localities across the Commonwealth have established or are currently developing C-PACE programs.

– During a January 2018 Board meeting, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to direct staff to develop a C-PACE program structure, evaluate options for Program Administration, and draft an ordinance. The Board approved the County’s C-PACE ordinance during a February 21, 2019 meeting and selected a third-party program administrator, Virginia PACE Authority, in July.

– At a June 2018 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board Environmental Committee recommended that County staff draft a C-PACE ordinance. The VAEEC participated in the Fairfax County stakeholders group to provide feedback on this draft ordinance, which was approved by the Board during their March 19, 2019 meeting. The County selected the Virginia PACE Authority as their program administrator. This program will be the first in the state to make resiliency and stormwater measures eligible for C-PACE financing.

– The City of Fredericksburg adopted a C-PACE ordinance for the City and will administer its own program.

– During a May 2019 budget meeting, Alexandria City Council approved the FY2020 budget, including the approval of start-up costs for a C-PACE program. This is the first step in getting a program up and running in the City.

– The City of Petersburg‘s City Council unanimously voted to establish a C-PACE program during a July 2019 meeting. The City is planning to hire a third-party program administrator to manage the program.

– In November 2019, Richmond City Council adopted an ordinance to establish a C-PACE program.

– The City of Lynchburg and the Town of Dumfries passed ordinances in December 2019 to establish C-PACE programs.



Arlington County

Active; launched in January 2018

City of Alexandria

Ordinance in development; mid-2020 launch anticipated

City of Fredericksburg

Active; launched in December 2018

City of Lynchburg

Ordinance enacted; ordinance passed in December 2019

City of Richmond

Ordinance enacted; ordinanced passed in November 2019

Fairfax County

Program administrator selected; early 2020 launch anticipated

Loudoun County

Active; launched in November 2019

Town of Dumfries

Ordinance enacted; ordinance passed in December 2019

City of Petersburg

Ordinance enacted; ordinance passed in July 2019

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.

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 plays 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 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.

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

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

C-PACE Momentum is Building
We are excited to announce that there has been a lot of C-PACE movement in Virginia over the past couple Read more.
C-PACE Progress in the Commonwealth
There has been an increase in C-PACE activity and progress across the Commonwealth in the past few months, including several Read more.
MAPA Releases C-PACE Toolkit
The much anticipated MAPA Regional Toolkit has been released!  The Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance, or MAPA, is comprised of state agencies, Read more.
Latest Updates on C-PACE in Virginia
The VAEEC has been focused on advancing Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, financing across the Commonwealth for the Read more.
Latest PACE Updates and Fairfax County Lunch + Learn Recap
On November 29, 2017, the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council held our latest Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, Lunch Read more.
Webinar Recap + Audio: C-PACE Financing in Virginia
By now, many of you have probably heard us speak about commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, financing. It Read more.

Blog Post Archive

News Articles


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,...
Read More


Nov 19

Richmond C-PACE Program Aims to Encourage Clean Energy Updates

Richmond property owners rehabbing or developing commercial properties soon will have a new financial incentive to include clean energy and...
Read More


Sep 19

In Virginia, local government holdouts slow rollout of clean energy financing tool

The state’s property assessed clean energy law requires local governments to pass ordinances to establish the program. Read More (Energy...
Read More
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