Energy Program Helps Keep Connecticut Buildings ‘Honest’

Building owners in Connecticut now have a way to access funds needed for energy-saving upgrades to their property without incurring additional high interest debt. The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) recently announced the launch of its Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) program, and a new online platform that is likely to generate green jobs in the state.

Telling property owners how to perform energy efficiency upgrades is all well and good, but while many would like to save money and energy, a lack of awareness is rarely the only barrier. With the economy still moving in slow motion, few property owners can come up with the capital needed to install the necessary improvements, even if they do pay for themselves in the long run. Built on a platform created by New York startup Honest Buildings, the C-PACE program aims to help commercial, industrial, and multi-family property owners access affordable, long-term financing for smart energy upgrades to their buildings.

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Image via gov.cbia.com

According to the official release, a key interactive component of the platform allows building owners and service providers, from architects to contractors, to showcase the energy efficiency projects they have completed on buildings. Just like on HonestBuildings.com, building professionals can access the C-PACE website, upload photographs, complete project details, and increase awareness for their projects and organizations. The result is a growing transparent database of efficiency and clean energy projects that can drive demand for their services and generate green jobs in Connecticut. Those inspired by what they see on the website can then apply to advantage of financing options to help make improvements a reality.

C-PACE allows building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and clean energy improvements by placing a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. Property owners pay for the improvements over time through this additional charge on their property tax bill and the repayment obligation transfers automatically to the next owner if the property is sold. “Similar to a sewer tax assessment, capital provided under the C-PACE program is secured by a lien on the property, so low-interest capital can be raised from the private sector with no government financing required,” explains the program website.

“Connecticut is positioned to be a national leader in energy efficiency initiatives, and the CPACE program represents another opportunity for citizens to engage in clean energy solutions,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “I applaud CEFIA’s work to launch this important tool that will help businesses reduce energy costs and lower consumption—C-PACE will help us continue
our momentum toward cleaner, cheaper more reliable energy.”

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog