Aurora Office Property Owner Taps State Program for Energy Upgrade

Colorado C-PACE relies on private capital, not taxpayer funds, to finance energy efficiency projects

Lafayette, CO—Northstar Commercial Partners has updated one of its investment properties located at 860 Potomac Drive in Aurora through Colorado’s commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program. The program, a public-private partnership, encourages commercial and industrial property owners to undertake energy efficiency projects by facilitating affordable, long-term, non-recourse financing via private capital providers. The program does not use taxpayer dollars.

The property, a 113,568-square-foot medical office building erected in 1992, will receive new packaged rooftop units and a new building energy management system under the C-PACE program. These improvements are projected to reduce the building’s operation and maintenance costs by approximately 35 percent annually.

The project is a collaboration between Lever Energy Capital, a national C-PACE capital provider and originator, which developed the project; DMA Engineering, which performed the energy audit and analysis; Centennial Controls, which is installing the new HVAC system and controls, and Greenworks Lending, a national C-PACE capital provider, which funded the $874,094 investment.

“C-PACE enables building owners to improve asset quality and reduce operating expenses with no upfront costs,” said Joel Poppert, senior vice president of Lever Energy Capital. “So it’s perfect for property owners who want to modernize their building and preserve capital at the same time.”

“It’s very important for commercial building owners to have efficient systems,” said Steven Forrester, DMA Engineering’s CEO and principal engineer. “Efficient buildings increase occupant comfort, lower operating costs, and lower overall lifecycle costs. Paying for upgrades with C-PACE financing is a great option for building owners, enabling them to tackle all the items on their punch lists without any upfront costs.”

“HVAC systems often account for between 40 and 70 percent of a commercial building’s energy bill, so keeping these systems under tight control is money in the bank,” said Brandon Rock, a sales engineer with Centennial Controls. “It’s a smart move to update these systems, because a well-controlled building minimizes unexpected repairs, lowers energy costs and improves comfort. We were pleased to be a part of this C-PACE project.”

“Tenants have a lot of options when it comes to choosing commercial property in our area, so it’s important that our properties are comfortable and efficient,” said Patricia Watson of Northstar Commercial Partners. “The Colorado C-PACE program gave Northstar an economically attractive way to make the upgrades we needed without sacrificing working capital. I’m already looking into using the program on other buildings in our portfolio.”

About Colorado C-PACE

A program of the New Energy Improvement District (NEID) administered by Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Colorado C-PACE facilitates financing for energy and water improvements, including new heating/cooling systems, lighting, water pumps, insulation, and renewable energy projects for commercial properties. C-PACE offers long-term financing that covers 100 percent of the project cost and is repaid over a period of up to 20 years. The payments are structured as a regular line item on the property tax bill. When a property is sold, the C-PACE assessment can stay with the property and transfer to the new owner, who enjoys the ongoing utility cost savings associated with the project. Visit for more information.

About SRS

Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS) partners with state and local governments to administer commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) programs. Founded in 2010 by experienced commercial real estate and energy efficiency professionals, the company’s proprietary technology-enabled PACEworx™ Platform streamlines the management of the data-intensive C-PACE technical and financial underwriting process. SRS’s Investor Confidence Project-credentialed quality assurance methodology has facilitated more than $130 million in C-PACE financing nationwide—a level unmatched in the industry. SRS empowers C-PACE public-private partnerships across the country, including programs in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia. The company is based in Trumbull, Connecticut.