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 25 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 25 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.

What are responsibilities for a county participating in the Colorado C-PACE program?

The Colorado C-PACE program is designed to utilize the county’s existing method for the billing and collection of property taxes.  Upon a C-PACE project finance closing the program administrator will request the county tax assessor to place the C-PACE Assessment on the county property tax roll for the participating property.

In advance of the county’s normal property tax billing cycle, e.g. semi-annually, the program administrator will provide to participating counties a list of all C-PACE assessments and the associated billing amount to be included on the building owner’s tax bill.  Upon collection of the C-PACE assessment payment, the county will transfer the C-PACE assessment related funds into a C-PACE Program account.  The program administrator will then disburse the funds to the appropriate private capital provider that financed the project.

What are the benefits of the Colorado C-PACE program to participating counties?

The Colorado C-PACE Program is designed to empower commercial and industrial building owners to modernize their building energy infrastructure, lower energy use and costs, increase building comfort and asset value – with no upfront costs.  These Colorado C-PACE financed projects also advance participating counties’ public policy goals to:

  • Create local jobs
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increase renewable energy deployment.

These Colorado C-PACE Program public-private partnership generated local economic development impacts require no taxpayer funds, as Colorado C-PACE projects are all financed by private capital providers.

What are the costs to County governments?

The Colorado C-PACE Program is designed to utilize a county’s existing method for the billing and collection of property taxes.  Therefore, C-PACE expects minimal administrative costs to be incurred by participating counties. Nevertheless, the program has provided for a surcharge, of up to 1 percent of the Colorado C-PACE assessment amount billed and collected on each property tax bill, to help offset any incremental costs incurred by the county in its normal tax billing and collections process.

How does a county become eligible to participate in the Colorado C-PACE program?

In order to become eligible, C.R.S. 32-20-105(c) requires the Board of County Commissioners to adopt a resolution authorizing the District to conduct the Colorado C-PACE program within that county. In addition, the resolution must authorize the county to enter into the NEID-County Participation Agreement with the District. Once the county and the District sign that agreement, that county will be part of the Colorado C-PACE program, and projects located within that county may be funded using Colorado C-PACE financing.

Visit the Counties & Government “How it works” page of this website to download the NEID-County Participation Agreement.  Upon completion, submit the Participation Agreement via email to service@copace.com.

Will Colorado C-PACE support counties who wish to participate in outreach and education efforts?

Yes, please contact the program administrator via email at info@copace.com to arrange a meeting to discuss outreach and education efforts in your county.

How is a Colorado C-PACE assessment repaid?

Colorado C-PACE assessment repayment is managed through a new line item on the building’s property tax bill. Typically the C-PACE assessment annual payments are less than the annual dollar value of the energy saved. As a result such projects are typically cash flow positive to the owner in the first year.

What happens if the building owner is in default of their Colorado C-PACE assessment payment?

Under the Colorado C-PACE Statute (C.R.S. 32-20-101 et seq.), the C-PACE special assessment is subject to the same penalties and the same procedures (up to and including a tax lien sale) in the case of delinquency as is provided for through ad valorem (i.e. property) taxes. The C-PACE assessment has priority over all private liens on the property, is of equal priority to other special assessments, and is junior in priority to general property taxes.

What are the risks associated with Colorado C-PACE financings?

If a building owner is deficient or delinquent on their C-PACE assessment, Colorado C-PACE is not responsible to cover the shortfall. As a C-PACE assessment is associated with the property, not the building owner, in the case of a non-payment, the assessment (which is a priority lien) will fall into arrears and be repaid after all other taxes are satisfied and prior to any outstanding mortgage.

In the event of a bankruptcy, how is recovery money allocated?

Municipal liens related to real property have first priority, followed by any Colorado C-PACE payments in arrears, followed by non-real property municipal liens and assessments, followed by the first mortgage holder.

How does a building owner apply for Colorado C-PACE financing for their 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-Qualificaton Submission Form completion, submit the completed form and all attachments via email to service@copace.com.

How is the program marketed to contractors and building owners?

The Colorado C-PACE program administrator will actively engage with building owners, contractors, mortgage holders and capital providers to raise program awareness. In addition, the program administrator will provide county governments (and others) with educational material, including:

  • Data on eligible building types,
  • Marketing material, and
  • In-depth training for contractors seeking to develop projects for building owners.
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 counties participate in the 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.

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