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 program that helps building owners access private-sector financing to upgrade their building with energy efficiency, clean energy, and water efficiency improvements. With C-PACE, building owners receive up to 100 percent financing with attractive repayment terms consistent with the useful life of the improvements (up to 20 years). This typically enables them to undertake larger building modernization projects that addresses multiple deficiencies.

In well-designed C-PACE projects, the energy cost savings exceed the PACE payments, creating a cash-flow-positive project. By using C-PACE, building owners can reduce their operating costs, improve the value and competitiveness of their building, meet energy performance goals, and increase their cash flow.

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?

While many buildings need upgrading, until C-PACE there was no good way to pay for it. C-PACE solves the financial issues associated with a building modernization project by providing 100% financing that is long-term, non-recourse, and affordable. Since the financing is based on the building’s financial health, and not the owner’s creditworthiness, personal guarantees are not required. Once a project is complete, the building owner has a more valuable, more competitive building, lower utility bills, a more sustainable property, and, often, a higher net operating income if the project was designed to be cash-flow-positive.

How do I know if my county is participating in the Colorado C-PACE program?

Visit the Participating Counties page 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. Email 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 projects.  Visit the Capital Providers page 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 recorded 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. Owners who choose not to participate remain unaffected.

How do building owners qualify for financing?

Qualifying for C-PACE financing is based on the property, and not the owner. The C-PACE program administrator will look at:

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

Visit the Participating Counties page of this website for a current list of counties that participate in the Colorado 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 info@copace.com.

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

C-PACE projects typically range from $200,000 to more than $1 million. Constraints on the amount are driven by the financial health of the building and include:

  • Building financials
  • Loan-to-value percentage (<80% LTV is preferred)
  • 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 can review term sheets from multiple private capital providers, facilitated by the program administrator, to select the best fit.

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 all other available incentives. All or a portion of total incentives may be subtracted from the amount financed under the C-PACE program.

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

Each C-PACE participating private capital provider sets its own terms, including pre-payment, in its financing agreement with the building owner. It is common for 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, refer to the Colorado C-PACE Program Guidelines or email 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?

To apply, simply send a completed Pre-Qualification Submission Form and 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.