Displayed below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Click on the “>” icon associated with each question to view the answer.
Commercial property assessed clean energy, or C-PACE, is a program that helps property owners access private-sector financing for the installation of building improvements that can reduce energy consumption and can increase the value of their property. With C-PACE, property owners can receive up to 100 percent financing with attractive repayment terms that are consistent with the useful life of the improvements (up to 25 years). In well-designed C-PACE projects, the energy cost savings may exceed the PACE payments, creating a cash-flow-positive project. The financing is secured with a voluntary benefit assessment that is recorded against the property and is repaid directly to the capital provider.
C-PACE is also available to developers with new construction projects if they design their building to exceed current energy codes.
The program administrator will review each capital provider’s underwriting standards in the Capital Provider Application and Participation Agreement. At a minimum, capital providers must use the following factors when determining whether to underwrite C-PACE projects:
- Total property-related debt to property value ratio (total property-related debt includes mortgage debt, the Delaware C-PACE financing and any other obligations secured by the property). The property value which may be established either (i) as the assessed value of the property, or (ii) its appraised value, as supported by a recent appraisal. In either case, the property’s value may include the enhanced value of the property resulting from the installation of the improvements being financing with Delaware C-PACE.
- Whether the property owner is current on its property tax and assessment payments.
- The status with regard to involuntary liens, defaults, or judgments applicable to the subject property. A property owner may be able to participate if it can be demonstrated that there is an acceptable reason for the lien, default, or judgment and provide supporting documentation.
- The property owner(s) or their affiliated companies have not been a debtor in a bankruptcy.
- Cash flow generated by the property.
The C-PACE program has an open-market structure under which any capital provider may fund eligible projects. To participate in C-PACE, simply fill out the Capital Provider Application in the Resources section of the website.
Properties eligible for C-PACE financing must meet two requirements. The building must be located in a county that has opted in to the program (participating counties) and have one of the following uses:
- Multifamily (with 5 or more units)
New construction is also eligible for C-PACE financing.
The minimum project construction cost is $50,000. There is no maximum.
Visit the Participating Counties page of this website for a current list of counties participating in the C-PACE program. C-PACE may only accept applications from property owners with properties located in counties that have joined the program by passing a simple opt-in resolution. Email info@DelawareCPACE.org if you have questions about getting a non-participating county to join C-PACE.
Repayment of the C-PACE financing is secured by a voluntary benefit assessment that is recorded in the property records of the county in which the property is located.
C-PACE assessment billing, collections and remittance process is managed by each participating county consistent with their property tax billing and collection process.
Under the 2018 Delaware Energy Act, the voluntary benefit assessment may be neither extinguished nor accelerated in the event of default or bankruptcy; and shall be levied and collected as to assessment payments currently and past due in the same manner as the property assessments of the participating county government on real property; and shall not extinguish any superior liens, such as the lien for property taxes, and other governmental service assessments.
The benefit assessment may remain with the real property upon sale, including in the event of a foreclosure. In the event of default or delinquency, it may be pursued in the same manner as with other property assessments, including with respect to any penalties, fees and remedies and lien priorities; provided that a foreclosure sale brought with respect to C-PACE assessments shall not have the effect of extinguishing any subordinate mortgage liens against the qualifying commercial real property.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law: At the time of a transfer of property ownership including foreclosure, the past due balances of any special assessment shall be due for payment, but future payments shall continue as a lien on the property.
In the event of a foreclosure action, the past due balances shall include all payments on an assessment that are due and unpaid as of the date the action is filed, and all payments on the assessment that become due after that date and that accrue up to and including the date on which title to the property is transferred to the mortgage holder, the lien holder, or a third party in the foreclosure action. The person or entity acquiring title to the property in foreclosure shall be responsible for payments that become due after the date of such acquisition.
Because the C-PACE repayment obligation is tied to the property, the assessment can transfer to the next property owner if the property is sold.
If a property owner is deficient or delinquent on the C-PACE payment, the county is not responsible for covering the shortfall. In the case of a non-payment, the voluntary benefit assessment (which is a priority lien) will fall into arrears and be repaid after all other taxes are satisfied and prior to any outstanding mortgage.
Local property taxes and other governmental service assessment liens have first priority, followed by any C-PACE payments in arrears, followed by any previously recorded mortgage lien on the property only if a written consent agreement is executed by the holder of each such previously recorded lien.
The C-PACE program administrator actively engages with property owners, contractors, mortgage holders, and capital providers via a multi-channel marketing and public relations strategy to raise awareness of, and interest in, the program. In addition, the program administrator provides county governments (and others) with educational material, including data on eligible building types, marketing material, and in-depth training for contractors seeking to develop projects for building owners.
Energize Delaware administers the C-PACE program.
Repayment periods span up to 25 years, depending on the owner’s preference, and are limited by the weighted average effective useful life (EUL) of the financed improvements.
Property owners are encouraged to pursue available federal investment tax credits (ITC), utility rebates, and all other available incentives. All or a portion of total incentives may be subtracted from the amount financed under the C-PACE program.
No, there is no fee to apply for C-PACE financing.
Funding for C-PACE financing is provided by private capital providers, which may include banks, specialty financiers, institutional investors, insurance companies, and other capital providers.
The C-PACE program-defined minimum project finance amount is $50,000. There is no maximum, rather each participating capital provider is expected to set their own maximum financing parameters.