Commissioners OK commercial clean energy finance program

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WEST CHESTER — The Chester County commissioners recently approved a resolution calling for the county to participate in C-PACE, a clean energy financing program for commercial properties.

C-PACE, which stands for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, is a financial tool for commercial property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects. C-PACE can facilitate a loan for a project by placing a voluntary lien on the property that repays the costs of the upgrades.

“Chester County is the first county in the Southeastern PA region to adopt this program that will support family-sustaining jobs and the Chester County business community, as well as improve the sustainability of our built environment,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline.

Pennsylvania is one of more than 30 states that has enabled C-PACE, and four public-sector and non-profit organizations have collaborated to develop the program in the state:  Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA); Philadelphia Energy Authority; City of Pittsburgh Sustainability Commission; and Sustainability Energy Fund.

The Sustainable Energy Fund will administer the program in Chester County and connect project developers to authorized contractors and lenders. Sustainable Energy Fund has lent money throughout Pennsylvania for such programs for two decades.

“Nationally, nearly a billion dollars has been invested through C-PACE loans, and in Chester County, C-PACE investment could help retrofit older building stock and accelerate growth in a local energy efficiency industry that already accounts for thousands of jobs” said County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.

Chester County’s resolution authorizes the establishment of a property-assessed clean energy program in the county and further directs necessary county personnel to move forward to effect a county-wide C-PACE program.

“The C-PACE program is a win-win for Chester County,” said Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell.  “It makes financing energy efficiency easier, which means more work for companies that retrofit building, sell high-efficiency equipment, and design smart buildings.”

“KEEA applauds Chester County’s leadership as the first county in the southeast to approve a C-PACE program.” said Julian Boggs, Policy Director at KEEA. “This action builds on a strong track record of energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives in the county. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to successfully implement the Chester County C-PACE Program.”

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