Access to affordable capital is critical for any organization in pursuit of an energy improvement project. Many incentives are available to help Maryland businesses, nonprofit organizations, local governments, and others offset the costs of these projects. These include the grants and low-cost loans available from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), incentives from utility EmPOWER programs, and Federal tax incentives. There is also another low-risk financing mechanism that is becoming more readily available across the United States: Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing.
C-PACE is a method of energy capital financing that is enabled by state and/or local legislation and facilitated by public organizations that leverage public and private dollars. Organizations that are located within jurisdictions that have authorized C-PACE financing can access low-risk loans at attractive interest rates that improve project economics and enhance the value proposition to senior decision-makers and other third-party financers.
Click on the sections below to learn more about C-PACE, and how your organization can leverage this resource in its energy capital planning.
C-PACE provides low-risk capital loans to organizations pursuing projects that enhance energy efficiency, implement renewable energy technologies, and/or install water efficiency improvement measures at their properties. The loan is treated as a tax assessment on the property for the value of the installed equipment, and repaid through property tax bills. Loan terms are typically 10 - 20 years in length.
The lien placed on a property for a C-PACE loan is senior to the majority of all other liens on the property, which lowers the default risk attributable to the loan. This is attractive to third-party financiers that would otherwise be less willing to finance the associated energy project if the lien was in a more junior position to others. This leads to more attractive interest rates, which help reduce the overall cost of financing the project and improve its economics.
Because a C-PACE loan is a property tax assessment, this means that it remains affixed to the property itself and not to the property owner. In the event that the property is sold, the C-PACE loan becomes the responsibility of the new owner and the prior owner is no longer obligated to make payments. This attribute can be much more attractive to an organization’s decision-makers in their consideration to move forward with energy capital projects than traditional capital funding sources that do not provide this flexibility.
C-PACE is offered in Maryland on a county-by-county basis through the statewide program MD-PACE, with the exception of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. These counties administer their own C-PACE programs, detailed further below. MD-PACE is administered by PACE Financial Servicing in partnership with the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC). To enable C-PACE financing through the MD-PACE program a Maryland county must first pass legislation that authorizes C-PACE to be made available within the county.
To date, C-PACE financing is available to 18 of Maryland’s 24 counties. Calvert County and Saint Mary’s County are developing C-PACE programs, but they are not yet available. See the table below for a full list of availability.
Montgomery County and Prince George’s County C-PACE Programs
C-PACE is available in both Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, but these counties administer their own C-PACE programs instead of utilizing MD-PACE. For information about these programs, please visit the links below:
MEA does not manage or administer any C-PACE programs in Maryland. MD-PACE is the statewide C-PACE program established by PACE Financial Servicing in partnership with MCEC. While MEA strives to keep this resource page updated in a timely manner, please refer to the MD-PACE website for the most up-to-date information on the status of C-PACE programs across the State of Maryland.
C-PACE financing is available in Maryland for many different types of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation measures. Some of the most common types include the following:
Projects must be approved by the C-PACE administrator responsible for the location where they are installed to be eligible for financing. The Maryland C-PACE administrator, with the exception of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County as noted in the C-PACE in Maryland section above, is MD-PACE. To submit an application for financing and determine if your project is eligible, please visit the MD-PACE application portal here.
The following resources may also be helpful in an organization’s decision to pursue C-PACE financing:
For more information regarding C-PACE in Maryland from MEA, please contact Brandon Bowser, CHP & Energy Resilience Program Manager, via email at BrandonW.Bowser@Maryland.gov or via phone at (443) 306-0304.
For all questions regarding C-PACE eligibility, loan rates, or financing availability, please contact MD-PACE at email@example.com or via phone at (202) 844-9504.
1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 755, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 537-4000 | 1-800-72-ENERGY