Displayed below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Click on the “>” icon associated with each question to view the answer.

What is Delaware C-PACE?

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.

What building improvements are eligible for C-PACE financing?

Improvements that are eligible for C-PACE financing must be permanently affixed to the commercial or industrial property. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Automated building controls (such as BMS and EMS)
  • Boilers, chillers, and furnaces
  • Building envelope (such as insulation, glazing, windows)
  • Combined heat and power (CHP) systems
  • Fuel cells
  • Geothermal systems
  • High-efficiency lighting
  • Hot water systems
  • HVAC upgrades
  • Hydroelectric systems
  • Irrigation systems that improve water efficiency
  • Roof replacement that improves energy efficiency (such as reflective/cool roof, enhanced insulation)
  • Small wind systems
  • Solar PV (roof upgrade/replacement for rooftop systems is also eligible)
  • Solar thermal
  • Waste heat recovery technologies
  • Water efficient fixtures (such as low-flow faucets and toilets)

In addition, the cost of improvements that are directly related to the installation of eligible improvements may be included in the financing, e.g. roof upgrades to support a roof-mounted solar PV installation.

This list is not all-inclusive and is expected to change over time. If a proposed improvement or expense is not on this list, contact the program administrator with a description of the improvement or expense for consideration.

Who administers Delaware C-PACE?

Energize Delaware administers the C-PACE program.

What are the benefits of C-PACE financing?

While many buildings need upgrading, until C-PACE there was no good way to pay for it. C-PACE solves the financial issues associated with a building modernization project by providing 100 percent financing that is long-term, non-recourse, and affordable. Since the financing is based on the building’s financial health, and not the owner’s creditworthiness, personal guarantees are not required. Once a project is complete, the property owner has a more valuable, more competitive building, lower utility bills, a more sustainable property, and, often, a higher net operating income if the project was designed to be cash-flow-positive.

How do I know if my county participates in the C-PACE program?

Visit the Participating Areas page for a list of counties that participate in the Delaware C-PACE program. Note that the program administrator can only accept applications from property owners whose buildings are located in areas that have joined the program. Contact us to learn more or work with us to help your city or county join the Delaware C-PACE program.

Does C-PACE use taxpayer dollars to fund projects?

No. C-PACE uses private capital to fund projects. View a list of capital providers that participate in the program.

Are C-PACE assessments considered “off balance sheet”? Is there clarity on the treatment of C-PACE as an operating expense from the perspective of the accounting industry?

Property owners are encouraged to consult their accountants on this matter.

From an accounting perspective, have any auditing firms concluded that the tax lien (which supports the financing) is not a liability of the owner or the building?

There has been no specific ruling by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on this issue.

When is the voluntary C-PACE benefit assessment recorded on the property?

Upon closing of C-PACE financing.

Is this a voluntary program?

Yes. Owners who choose not to participate remain unaffected.

How do property owners qualify for financing?

Qualifying for C-PACE financing is based on the property, and not the owner. The capital provider will look at:

  • The property’s estimated market value (assessed or appraised)
  • The amount of the owner’s equity in the property
  • The owner’s recent mortgage and property tax payment history
  • The dollar value of the proposed eligible energy improvements
How much can a property owner borrow using C-PACE financing?

C-PACE projects typically range from $50,000 to multi-million dollars. Constraints on the amount are driven by the financial health of the building and include:

  • Building financials
  • Loan-to-value percentage (<80% LTV is preferred)
  • Other considerations of the mortgage holder
What are typical C-PACE financing interest rates?

To ensure the best possible terms, including interest rate and other fees, the property owner can review term sheets from multiple private capital providers, facilitated by the program administrator, to select the best fit.

How is the length of the repayment period determined?

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.

How are tax credits, rebates, and utility incentives incorporated into C-PACE financing?

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.

Are there fees associated with the pre-payment of a C-PACE assessment?

Each C-PACE capital provider set their own terms, including pre-payment, in its financing agreement with the property owner. It is common for C-PACE capital providers to include a pre-payment fee schedule. 

Can I use any contractor?

Yes. View a list of contractors who have attended C-PACE training. Note that by providing this list, the program administrator is not recommending or endorsing any specific contractor.

Is there an application fee for C-PACE?

No, there is no fee to apply for C-PACE financing.

How do I apply for C-PACE financing?

To apply, simply send a completed Application Form to info@DelawareCPACE.org.

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