Commercial PACE (C-PACE) Financing
NCBPA is leading efforts to bring Property Assessed Capital Expenditures (PACE) Financing to North Carolina in 2020 through new legislation the association introduced in 2017. Read more about this work below including how your company can participate and support the association’s work.
May 2020 Update on C-PACE in North Carolina
NCBPA continues to lead advocacy and lobbying efforts that would establish a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Financing program in North Carolina. NCBPA introduced legislation to enable C-PACE via 2017’s SB493 “Commercial Property Assessed Capital Expenditures” but the bill was quickly flagged by the NC Treasurer’s office as being unconstitutional. However, over the past two years, we have been unable to obtain a definite reason for the Treasurer’s office opposition to the program.
With the 2020 short legislative session now underway, NCBPA’s Principal Lobbyist Ryan Miller continues to push for C-PACE enabling legislation based on 2017’s SB493. We are seeking House and Senate sponsors for a new bill to be drafted for the 2021 session OR an amendment to prior legislation that was first enacted in 2009’s SB97.
This legislation preceded modern PACE legislation by several years and has never been acted upon due to opposition from NCHFA on the residential program, constantly changing PACE industry guidelines, consumer protection concerns and federal regulations. These issues necessitated the development of a new bill with 2017’s SB493. However, the legislation did authorize local governments to adopt PACE programs through June 30, 2015. 2015’s SB284 extended the expiration date to June 30, 2020. That same legislation amended a provision, which reduces the allowed number of annual installments for PACE financing from 30 to 25. Read more about this history here.
Contact us to get involved with our efforts to enable C-PACE legislation and initiate programs in 2020.
June 2019 Update on C-PACE in North Carolina
NCBPA and partner E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) are working together to obtain a legal determination on whether or not a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Financing program is allowable in North Carolina.
NCBPA introduced legislation to enable C-PACE via 2017’s SB493 “Commercial Property Assessed Capital Expenditures” but the bill was quickly flagged by the NC Treasurer’s office as being unconstitutional, based on a fundamental mechanism of how the program works by enabling a local government to serve as a “go-between” for the property tax assessment/lien that is used by a tax paying entity to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy or other property upgrades.
NCBPA and E2 are teaming up to obtain a legal determination that, hopefully, identified an available pathway for enabling the legislation at the state level. If successful, the bill could be re-introduced in the 2020 legislative session, making way for it to be passed into law in 2020 and for local governments to sign-on to offer programs in late 2020 or early 2021.
If our C-PACE work is successful, industry participation will be critical to enabling the program at the Legislature and garnering public and private sector support for implementing programs across the state.
August 2018 Update on C-PACE in North Carolina
The next step to enable Commercial PACE Financing in North Carolina is to obtain a credible attorney’s opinion on the constitutionality of the program in our state. As you may know, NCBPA wrote NC’s C-PACE bill in 2016 and has been lobbying for its passage ever since. Our bill enables this innovative financing program to allow for:
- Building energy efficiency retrofits
- Solar, wind, EV and battery storage installations
- LED, roofing, window and energy saving upgrades
- Disaster recovery and prevention
- Water efficiency and management
For the 2019 long legislative session, we have bill sponsors, supportive legislators, advocates at the ready and a strong opportunity to enable this valuable legislation. But, before we do, we must provide a credible opinion supporting the constitutionality of the program. NCBPA has identified an attorney to perform the review that will, hopefully, identify a favorable path forward during the 2019 session.
Help us fund this work by contributing to our current fundraising goal of $15,000!
Click here to make a non-tax deductible contribution to our C-PACE Fund.
June 2018 Update on C-PACE in North Carolina
Since the time our bill was introduced in the 2017 legislative long session, NCBPA has continued to work with industry partners, legislators and partner organizations to modify draft bill language and gain support for the C-PACE program to be enabled in North Carolina, when ready. NCBPA decided not to attempt to advance the bill during the 2018 legislative short session due to concerns over a very narrow window of opportunity for a complex bill that most legislators would not be interested in taking up with limited time and resources. Instead, NCBPA has continued to research support and opposition in the Senate, House and with key stakeholder organizations to prepare for work to be performed in 2018.
On May 30th and 31st, NCBPA led Lobby Days for Commercial and Residential buildings at the legislature to update supportive legislators on the C-PACE bill and gain their continued support for advancing it over the rest of 2018, leading up to a strong push at the start of the 2019 session. Bill co-sponsor Sen. Rick Gunn expressed his support for moving forward with the bill in 2019, as did co-sponsor Sen. Tommy Tucker, who is retiring after this short legislative session. During NCBPA’s Lobby Days, our members and staff met with several Senators and Representatives interested in co-sponsoring the Senate and House companion bill for 2019.
For the remainder of 2018, NCBPA will work with industry partners, member companies and legislators to identify the best course of action to advance the bill in the 2019 session. Support these efforts by working with us to obtain lobbying funds, case studies for viable C-PACE projects and educate supporters that will advocate and lobby with us to advance the bill over the coming months.
Please contact Ryan Miller at Ryan@BuildingNC.org or 919-521-3385 with any questions about this work.
What’s the Status of PACE in North Carolina?
S493 was introduced by Senators Tucker and Gunn on March 29, 2017 to enable Commercial PACE at the state level, thus allowing municipalities to opt-in and help setup PACE programs locally. The bill made it through the 2017 session’s crossover deadline but was not heard in committee. NCBPA and partner organizations are actively working with state agencies and local governments to hopefully move the bill through the legislature during the 2019 long session, making C-PACE project financing available in the latter half of 2019 in municipalities that adopt local ordinances to establish programs.
What is PACE Financing?
Property Assessed Capital Expenditures (PACE) Financing allows building and property owners to finance upgrades and improvements to their buildings and properties by obtaining 100% up-front financing with up to 25 year terms via voluntary property tax assessments. Essentially, building and property owners obtain funding to make their buildings and properties better via property tax liens from private banks.
PACE supports a variety of improvements including HVAC upgrades, windows and roofing, energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy installations, weather-resiliency measures, building automation systems and much more! Visit PACENation’s website for a summary of PACE’s impact on US homes, buildings and more.
Who Benefits from PACE Financing?
PACE is a win-win-win for property owners, local governments and the community. PACE helps property owners make their homes and buildings more comfortable and valuable by providing affordable and accessible financing. This innovative financing mechanism saves property owners money, creates jobs and promotes economic development, making it a valuable policy tool for state and local governments. Cities and counties also benefit by collecting increased property tax assessments due to the increased property value of the building or property that received the improvements.
Who Provides the Money?
Many successful PACE programs around the country rely on private financing institutions to fund projects. In these cases, the financing institution provides the project funding and the city or county collects the tax assessments and directs the payments to repay the financing provider.
Are residential homes included?
S493 includes multifamily homes but excludes single family homes due to Federal Housing Finance Agency concerns over consumer protection and lien priority status with existing mortgages. Efforts are underway to make Residential PACE a more viable opportunity across the country. Once better options are available, NCBPA will seek to enable R-PACE in North Carolina.
How can C-PACE Happen in North Carolina?
Help NCBPA and partner organizations enable C-PACE by following these steps:
Identify projects in your local community that could benefit from C-PACE financing. This includes capital construction projects at buildings and properties where property taxes are paid. Project types include a variety of upgrades and improvements that save energy, reduce water consumption and improve performance. View the proposed C-PACE project types in the bill language.
Look up your Senate and House representatives here in order to match the Senate or House member for that legislative district to the building or property that would benefit from C-PACE financing.
Email or call them with the below message that focuses on the best aspects of this bill and its benefits to NC communities and companies like yours.
Let Ryan Miller know who you contact and what, if any, questions or feedback you receive. With that information, NCBPA will follow-up with them directly and setup meetings in their districts or at the Capitol as needed.
As the bill makes its way through the Senate and House, NCBPA will keep stakeholders updated on additional communications and support needed via this webpage and email.
Contribute to our fundraising goal of $25,000 to pay for staff and contract labor needed to effectively lobby the bill through the legislature in 2019.
Sample language for contacting Your Legislators:
Dear Senator/Representative REP NAME – My name is NAME from CITY/COUNTY and I work for NAME. I’m calling/emailing today requesting that in the 2019 legislative session you support S493 “C-PACE Program” that was introduced in 2017 and is sponsored by Senators Tucker and Gunn to enable private financing for building and property improvements via property tax assessments.
Across the U.S., Commercial Property Assessed Capital Expenditures (C-PACE) has created more than 7,395 jobs by providing $493 million in construction funding to 1,097 projects but isn’t yet available in North Carolina! This program will spur construction investment in new and existing multifamily, commercial, industrial and agricultural buildings, which will help companies like mine hire more workers and invest in our local economies.
S493 will enable a C-PACE program at the state level and allow municipalities to voluntarily opt-in to allow for the private financing mechanism to be offered locally. Once enabled, building and property owners can obtain 100% up-front financing with up to 25 year terms on upgrades and improvements that lower monthly operating costs and improve market value.
Please contact Ryan Miller at Ryan@BuildingNC.org or 919-521-3385 with questions about this bill and visit North Carolina Building Performance Association’s website for more details.
Thank you very much for your support.