C-PACE may help you close more projects
Delaware C-PACE for Renewable Energy Contractors
How often does your sales team identify a potential new client, who, after expressing initial interest, shuts down because he or she is unwilling to self-fund the proposed project or take out a bank loan? If this sounds familiar, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new way to pitch solar PV projects—and it’s proving very attractive to property owners. It’s called C-PACE—a new program that provides up to 100 percent financing, creates cash-flow-positive projects, and puts money in the property owner’s pocket. C-PACE empowers you to develop projects that:
- Integrate long-term (up to 25-year) financing
- Incorporate ITC and MACRS depreciation to maximize cash flow (where applicable)
- Include a repayment obligation that can transfer to the next property owner in the event of a sale.
With C-PACE, commercial and industrial property owners often find they can utilize this new form of financing to:
- Lower their energy costs
- Increase the value of their building
- Increase their cash flow.
In C-PACE programs across the country, these innovative public-private partnerships enable assessment-based private financing programs that can remove the barriers that frequently stall your solar PV projects, enabling you to more rapidly grow your business.
How does C-PACE work?
Commercial property assessed clean energy, or C-PACE, is an energy financing program that has been adopted by more than 30 states, including Delaware.
The financing can be provided by capital providers in an open market, which provides property owners with competitive, private financing.
The financing is secured through a voluntary benefit assessment and assignable lien that is levied against the owner’s property and repaid to the capital provider(s); the term is typically based on the useful life of the improvements and can extend up to 25 years.
Because the long-term financing can cover up to 100 percent of a building’s modernization project cost and often requires no money down, C-PACE typically enables property owners to make substantial upgrades to their buildings. In many cases, the project’s energy savings will outweigh the C-PACE payments, which creates positive cash flow for the property owner, whose upgraded building may be more valuable after a C-PACE project.
What properties are eligible?
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.
Which improvements are eligible?
Improvements that are eligible for C-PACE financing must be permanently affixed to the eligible property. See a list of eligible improvements.
What is the Process?
Solar PV contractors are encouraged to attend a C-PACE workshop and become a Delaware C-PACE registered contractor. Check here for upcoming dates, times and locations for our informative half-day workshops.
At the workshop you’ll learn how to engage with property owners to:
- Discuss the benefits of a C-PACE project
- Perform preliminary project scoping
- Prepare proposals and review them with the property owner
- Develop and optimize project scenarios
- Install eligible improvements.
View the application to become a registered contractor View a list of registered contractors that have completed C-PACE training. Note that by providing this list, Delaware C-PACE is not recommending or endorsing any specific contractor.
How do I get started?
If you have a project in mind, you can fill out a project application with your property owner and submit it to Delaware C-PACE. Alternatively, you can register to attend one of our half-day workshops to learn more about the C-PACE program and how it works (the workshop is free). Check here for upcoming dates, times and locations for our informative half-day workshops. Registered contractors receive a complimentary company listing in the Contractor Directory on this website. Note that by providing this list, Delaware C-PACE is not recommending or endorsing any specific contractor.
What are the key steps in the C-PACE life cycle?
Below is an overview of the key steps in the Delaware C-PACE project life cycle. Click on the “>” icon associated with each step to view details.
- Learn about C-PACE program benefits
- Learn about Delaware C-PACE contractor support services
- Become a Delaware C-PACE registered contractor
- Prequalify projects
- Prioritize your best prospects
- Schedule meetings to introduce the program to property owners
- Collaborate with the Delaware C-PACE program representative to include relevant program benefits
- Prepare a preliminary proposal
- Review the proposal with the property owner
- Delaware C-PACE program administrator may attend to answer program-related questions
- Review building financial prequalification metrics, e.g. loan-to-value %
- Discuss building improvement needs and potential savings
- Review mortgage holder consent process
- Secure authorization to proceed to project scenario development
- Conduct building walk-through
- Prepare feasibility study with improvement costs and savings estimates
- Collaborate with the Delaware C-PACE team to optimize project scenario including financing assumptions
- Present optimized project scenario to the building owner
- The C-PACE program representative may attend with you if requested
- Review project proposal with property owner
- Incorporate any final revisions
- Secure authorization to proceed to mortgage holder consent and project financing
- Property owner arranges a meeting with their mortgage holder
- C-PACE program representative may attend with you to answer program-related questions
- Property owner obtains mortgage holder consent to record C-PACE assessment
- Property owner engages with selected capital provider
- Capital provider prepares financing agreement
- Capital provider manages project closing
- Delaware C-PACE team facilitates assessment recording with the county's special assessment office
- Property owner authorizes contractor to begin construction
- Construction funds are disbursed per the terms of the Assessment & Financing Agreement
- Contractor completes project installation and commissioning
- Delaware C-PACE team conducts commissioning oversight
- Property owner confirms project completion and acceptance