Displayed below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Click on the “>” icon associated with each question to view the answer.

What is Colorado C-PACE?

Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a financing program for commercial, industrial, agricultural, non-profit and multifamily (with 5 or more units) properties. Colorado C-PACE enables building owners to finance 100% of eligible energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements with repayment terms of up to 20 years.

Repayment is facilitated through the County property tax assessment process. A voluntary assessment (similar to a sewer district assessment) is placed on the building owner’s property tax bill. The assessment is repaid over the financing term (up to 20 years) and the annual energy cost savings will, in most cases, exceed the annual assessment payment. As a result such projects are typically cash flow positive in the first year. Because the C-PACE assessment obligation runs with the property, the assessment automatically transfers to the next owner when the property is sold.

Who administers Colorado C-PACE?

The statewide Colorado C-PACE program was launched by Colorado’s New Energy Improvement District (NEID), which was created by the Colorado Legislature in 2014. In 2015 NEID, through a competitive bidding process, selected Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Inc. (SRS) to be the Colorado C-PACE program administrator.

What are the benefits of long-term Colorado C-PACE financing to building owners?

Colorado C-PACE solves many of the financial hurdles facing property owners wanting to modernize their building and install energy and water efficiency improvements:

  • 100% financing for up to 20 year term (no out-of-pocket costs)
  • Competitive, fixed interest rates
  • Qualification for financing is based on the building’s financial health, not the owner’s personal credit or personal guarantees
  • Decreased utility expenses from reduced electricity, fuel and water usage produce cash flow positive projects
  • C-PACE assessment payment obligation transfers to the new owner when the property is sold.
How do I know if my county is participating in the Colorado C-PACE program?

Visit the Participating Counties page of this website for a current list of Counties participating in the Colorado C-PACE program. Colorado C-PACE may only accept Pre-Qualification Submission Forms from property owners located in counties that have joined the program by passing a simple “opt-in” resolution. Feel free to email us at info@copace.com if you have questions about getting your county to join Colorado C-PACE.

Does Colorado C-PACE use taxpayer dollars to fund projects?

No. Colorado C-PACE uses private capital to fund every project.  Visit the Capital Providers page of this website for a current list of capital providers participating in the Colorado C-PACE program. The costs to administer the program is paid by program participants through a Program Administration fee that is included in the total cost of each project.

Are Colorado C-PACE assessments considered “off balance sheet”? Is there clarity on the treatment of C-PACE assessment payments as an operating expense from the perspective of the accounting industry?

Building owners are encouraged to consult their accountants on this matter.

From an accounting perspective, have any auditing firms concluded that the tax lien (which supports the financing) is not a liability of the owner or the building?

There has been no specific ruling by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on this issue.

When is the Colorado C-PACE assessment placed on the property?

Upon closing of Colorado C-PACE financing, the program administrator instructs the county tax assessor to record an assessment (lien) on the county land records

Is this a voluntary program?

Yes. Using a Colorado C-PACE financing is completely voluntary.  Owners that choose not to participate remain unaffected.

How do building owners qualify for financing?

Qualifying for Colorado C-PACE financing is primarily based on:

  • The property’s estimated market value (assessed or appraised)
  • The amount of the property owner’s equity in the property, e.g. loan-to-value %
  • The property owner’s recent mortgage and property tax payment history
  • The dollar value of the proposed energy and/or water-saving improvements.
What counties are participating in Colorado C-PACE program?

Visit the Participating Counties page of this website for a current list of counties participating in the C-PACE program. The program administrator can accept Pre-Qualification Submission Forms ONLY from owners with properties located in a county that has opted into the Colorado C-PACE program. If you have questions about getting any county to join Colorado C-PACE, email us at info@copace.com

How much can a building owner borrow using Colorado C-PACE financing?

Colorado C-PACE projects typically range from $200,000 to over $1.0 million. Constraints on the amount of Colorado C-PACE financing is driven by the financial health of the building and include:

  • Building financial statement review,
  • Loan-to-value percentage (<80% LTV is preferred), and
  • Other considerations of the mortgage holder.
What are typical Colorado C-PACE financing interest rates?

To ensure the best possible terms, including interest rate and other fees, the building owner will typically review term sheets from multiple Colorado C-PACE participating private capital providers.  Upon review of financing term sheets the owner will select “best-fit” financing for their project.

How is the length of the repayment period determined?

Repayment periods can be 10, 15, or 20 years, depending on the owner’s preference, and are limited by the weighted average effective useful life (EUL) of the financed improvements.

How are tax credits, rebates and utility incentives incorporated into Colorado C-PACE Financing?

Property owners are encouraged to pursue available Federal Investment Tax Credits (ITC), utility rebates and any other incentives. All or a portion of total incentives may be subtracted from the amount financed under the Colorado C-PACE Program.

Are there any fees associated with pre-payment of a Colorado C-PACE assessment?

Each Colorado C-PACE participating private capital provider will set their own terms, including pre-payment, in their financing agreement with the building owner.  It is common for most C-PACE capital providers to include a pre-payment fee schedule.

Can I use any contractor?

Yes, however it is important that your contractor become a Colorado C-PACE registered contractor.   For more information on the registered contractor process see the Colorado C-PACE Program Guidelines or email us at info@copace.com.

Is there an submission fee for Colorado C-PACE?

No. There is no fee to submit a Pre-Qualification Submission Form for Colorado C-PACE financing.

How do I apply for Colorado C-PACE financing for my project?

To apply for Colorado C-PACE financing, download the Pre-Qualification Submission Form from the building owners “how it works” page of this website.  Upon Pre-Qualification Submission Form completion, submit the completed form and all attachments via email to service@copace.com

What is the program administration fee that will be added to each project?

Colorado C-PACE is designed to be a self-sustaining program once a certain level of deal-flow is achieved. The Colorado Energy Office has a limited budget to ensure that the program can cover its start-up costs.

To ensure that the program fees charged to program applicants are sufficient to cover the operating costs associated with administering the program, while still allowing for attractive overall costs associated with Colorado C-PACE participation, a fee equal to 2.5% of the project finance amount (not to exceed $75,000 per project) will be assigned to each C-PACE project. In addition, to cover the County tax assessors support services, the County will levy a C-PACE assessment servicing fee of up to 1% of the PACE assessment amount.

What is the County Servicing fee?

For the billing and collection support services rendered, the county will collect a “servicing fee” (not to exceed 1% of the periodic C-PACE assessment payments) to be paid by the Property Owner over the term of the C-PACE financing in the normal course of paying their property tax bill.