Published on November 14th, 2016 | by Dawn Killough
CleanFund Offers PACE Financing for Commercial Solar Power Projects
CleanFund and Soligent partnered this summer to begin offering PACE financing to non-residential solar power projects across the United States. These funding options allow building owners to pay for clean energy and energy efficiency investments through their property tax bill.
Property Assessed Clean Energy financing is a program that allows commercial and multifamily building owners to make improvements that improve energy efficiency, increase water efficiency, or provide renewable energy and finance them through an assessment that is added to their property tax bill. Improvements can include heating and ventilation systems, lighting enhancements, solar power, and added building insulation, and can be performed on multifamily, commercial, industrial, and non-profit buildings.
PACE funding pays for all of the improvement costs upfront, and is repaid over up to 20 years through the owner’s property tax bill. The financing agreement stays with the building through sale and can be passed down to tenants as part of the lease agreement. The PACE financial assessment is filed as a lien on the property.
Local governments have to pass legislation allowing the funding program to be used in their jurisdiction. It is seen as a boon for the local government, because it adds jobs, lowers the cost of opening businesses in the area, and helps the environment. PACE is currently available in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital is a California company that provides the financial backing for many PACE-funded projects. Their SolarPACE program allows owners to finance their projects over 30 years. With anticipated energy savings being more than the amount owed each year for the improvements, clients can often earn money during this period, allowing them to pursue other projects as well.
Owners can take advantage of local incentives from energy companies or state and federal resources to help offset initial costs. The 30 year term is set to match the expected life span of solar power equipment.
Soligent is the largest distributor of solar power equipment in the Americas, and provides their equipment through Solar Engine in the CleanFund PACE program. Solar Engine will provide the system design services and equipment to the end-user. Dealers and installers that are part of the Soligent team will be able to work directly with owners to facilitate the CleanFund SolarPACE financing process.
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