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Reno Launches New C-PACE Financing Tool for Sustainable Buildings

Program provides energy efficiency finance for both new and existing commercial buildings

Post Date:10/02/2019 12:32 PM

Today, celebrated nationally as Energy Efficiency Day, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS) announced the launch of the Reno Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program.

Under C-PACE, owners of existing commercial, industrial and multifamily (with 5 or more units) buildings will be able to finance up to 100 percent of the cost of qualifying energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects, for up to 25 years. To be eligible the project’s estimated energy cost savings, over the useful life of the improvements, must exceed the financing amount. Such projects create positive cash flow for the property owner.

Commercial property developers can use the program to finance up to 20 percent of the eligible construction cost of a new building, provided the building is designed to meet or exceed the City’s building energy code (IECC 2018/ASHRAE 90.1-2016). C-PACE financing has proven attractive to developers in other states who use it to avoid “value engineering” high-performance measures out of their project, fill gaps in their financing plan, and reduce their weighted average cost of capital.

Suzanne Linfante, the City’s Energy Advisor, said, “We are proud that Reno is continuing its energy efficiency leadership in Nevada and this innovative financing approach to sustainability that will create local job opportunities, increase energy savings, and improve air quality - all financed with private capital. The launch of this project was made possible under Reno’s participation in the City Energy Project which enabled the City to hire SRS for the program design.”

Project financing is provided by private capital providers in an open market and repaid through a voluntary assessment placed on the owner’s property similar to a special improvement district assessment. Since the financing is tied to the property, the owner is not required to sign a personal guarantee and the C-PACE assessment can transfer to a new owner upon sale.

The City selected Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS) to serve as the third-party administrator of the C-PACE program. SRS will handle outreach, education, project underwriting and quality assurance services. SRS provides support services to C-PACE programs in ten states nationwide. Brian McCarter, CEO of SRS said, “Reno is poised to jumpstart energy efficiency and renewable energy investment and the SRS team is delighted to help bring C-PACE to the City.”

“With SRS’s extensive experience in administering C-PACE programs in other states, we are confident that this public-private partnership will create a robust program in Reno that capitalizes on best practices throughout the country and complements our ReEnergize Reno initiatives,” said Linfante.