The theme of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association’s (COSEIA) Solar Power Colorado 2015 conference ostensibly was celebrating the last-quarter century and looking forward to the next one.
One tool might be a new version of PACE financing, which helps building owners pay for energy improvements. PACE for residential solar installations ended in 2010 with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s rule against the program, although these have been coming back to life, led by efforts in California.
Paul Sharfenberger, director of finance and operations for the Colorado Energy Office, said Colorado is getting ready to roll out a commercial real estate version of PACE financing this spring. Connecticut has a commercial version called C-PACE, and New York has the Energize Commercial New York program.
“You have building owners who are paying utility bills, but the tenants are enjoying the benefits,” Sharfenberger said. “Commercial PACE offers benefits that commercial property owners can pursue. It stays with the property; it’s 20-year financing at six or seven percent interest, which is fairly commensurate with other commercial lending products.” Read more.