Connecticut PACE Program is Set to Release Millions in Loans Through CEFIA

CT PACE program

Connecticut lawmakers have passed legislation that will grant loans to those who wish to install solar systems in the state.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a program which finances rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations as well as other projects designed to advance energy efficiency.  PACE programs have not made a big impact up to now in Connecticut, and that’s partly because there are no counties in the state.  County-wide government cooperation is often the catalyst which pulls solar initiatives together for communities.  That hindrance is a problem solved because legislation has recently been approved which allows the state to make millions of dollars available for solar energy projects to municipalities and commercial property owners.

Connecticut’s ground-breaking approach to C-Pace became a piece of passed legislation on June 12; a revised PACE statute was approved which allows the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), also known as the “Green Bank”, to offer CT PACE program financing and services to commercial property owners and municipalities throughout the state.

CEFIA is a newly formed entity which will develop guidelines and program standards that statewide municipalities will agree to when getting in on the opportunities for energy efficiency projects.   The new legislation has empowered CEFIA to provide the needed financing for green endeavors.

commercial solar

The CT PACE program will allow commercial solar projects to have access to financial assistance.

The program is designed to make sure that renewable energy and energy efficiency projects enable local governments as well as property owners to achieve three important goals:  protect the environment, save on costs, and create jobs.  An important element of the new legislation is that it restores senior lien status to CT PACE program assessments.  Mortgage lenders and banks throughout Connecticut joined in with the project approval process, which is why the statue gained their support.  Lack of financial backing in the past has been another factor which previously hindered the effectiveness of PACE in the state.

This proven financing mechanism now in place opens exciting new market opportunities for financial institutions in Connecticut to invest in local renewable resource projects.  Businesses will get assistance with stabilizing the costs they pay for energy.

The C-PACE legislation found support from numerous entities which joined with legislative leaders and Governor Malloy.  To name a few: businesses, labor organizations, municipal governments, and environmental groups were all in support of the initiative.

connecticut solar

It is hopeful that the progress that Connecticut has made with the PACE program will also catch on in other states as well.

Many believe that Connecticut’s innovative approach to commercial PACE is potentially an excellent model for statewide PACE programs across the nation.  At this point, almost 30 states have passed PACE program legislation.

The meat of the issue is that CT PACE program financing is now widely available which gives property owners the opportunity to take out loans which pay for onsite renewable energy (such as solar PV panels) or energy efficiency upgrades.  These state-organized bonds will typically be repaid over a 20-year period via an annual supplemental property tax assessment.

CEFIA reports that an intense amount of interest has been on display from energy service companies (ESCOs), national financial players, service providers, and more.  The excitement comes as no surprise because a great deal of capital, which is hard to come by these days, is now readily available to supply steady employment for (ESCOs) and for project developers. In addition:

• For municipalities, this legislation provides the opportunity to reduce energy costs for businesses, cut down on pollution, and create local jobs.
• For project lenders, a low-risk investment is provided because of the senior lien status of the PACE line as well as the fact that it ties in with property taxes.
• Contractors have business growth opportunities, since they provide energy upgrades in industrial and commercial building stock with low-cost financing.

If you would like to find out more information about the CT PACE program or to contact the NASS solar store near you, visit Yankee Doodle Solar Store in Wilton, Connecticut.

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