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

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.

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.

What is a C-PACE project developer, and do I need one?

Like the name suggests, a C-PACE project developer is a full-service firm experienced in C-PACE project development, which includes energy and financial modeling. Contact a C-PACE project developer if you’d like to discuss how C-PACE financing can fit into your capital stack, and the steps you need to take to qualify for financing.

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.

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.

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?

The total amount available to finance a new construction project in Colorado under C-PACE remains up to 20 percent of the total eligible construction costs. The term of the financing can be extended for up to 25 years.

For existing building retrofits, the maximum term will still be limited by the weighted average effective useful life of the equipment and can range typically from 10, 15, or up to 25-year terms. Only single measure projects with EULs of 25 years or greater would be able to take advantage of the longer 25-year term, items like roof replacement, solar PV, and elevator modernization projects.

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 Guide or email info@copace.com.

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 developers “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.

Is there a submission fee for Colorado C-PACE?

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

What improvements are eligible for Colorado C-PACE financing?

The following list of typical, proven energy efficiency, renewable energy, resiliency and water conservation technologies is intended as a reference. The program administrator will review other proposed improvements on a case-by-case basis.

Energy efficiency

  • Automated building controls (BMS, EMS)
  • Boilers, chillers and furnaces
  • Building envelope (insulation, glazing, windows, etc.)
  • High efficiency lighting
  • Hot water heating systems
  • HVAC upgrades
  • New roof (if it will result in energy savings)
  • Variable speed drives on motors, pumps and fans

Renewable energy

  • Combined heat and power (CHP) systems
  • Fuel cells
  • Geothermal systems
  • Hydroelectric systems
  • Recycled energy
  • Roof (if used to support a solar PV system)
  • Small wind systems
  • Solar PV
  • Solar thermal
  • Waste heat recovery

Water conservation

  • Irrigation systems
  • Low-flow fixtures (faucets, toilets, etc.)

Resiliency improvements

  • Increases a building’s structural resiliency for seismic events
  • Improves indoor air quality
  • Improves wind or fire resistance
  • Improves stormwater quality or reduces on/off-site risk of flash flooding
  • Improves the ability of a building to withstand an electrical outage
  • Reduces/mitigates urban heat island effect or the effects of extreme heat

Other eligible expenses

  • Commissioning costs
  • Construction costs related to an eligible improvement
  • Energy audit costs
  • Engineering and design expenses
  • Measurement and verification costs
  • Permit fees
  • Renewable energy feasibility study costs

This list is not comprehensive. Any improvements that result in utility cost savings and meet other program criteria, will be considered under Colorado C-PACE.  See the C-PACE Program Guide, Section 2.B. Eligible Projects, for more information.

What is C-PACE for new construction?

Colorado commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) is an innovative new financing mechanism that allows real estate developers to access affordable, long-term, non-recourse financing for the installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in new buildings. The fixed-rate financing is provided by private capital providers through an open-market model to enable competitive rates and terms, and is repaid through a voluntary assessment that is recorded on the property (similar to a sewer assessment) that can extend up to 25 years.

You can access Colorado C-PACE financing for up to 20 percent of your building’s total eligible construction cost if you design the building to exceed the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 5 percent or more. (Meet IECC 2018 and still receive 15 percent.)

Repayment is facilitated through the municipal property tax assessment process.

What are the benefits of C-PACE financing for developers?

C-PACE financing allows developers to access affordable, fixed-rate, non-recourse financing for up to 20 percent of their total eligible construction cost, provided they design their building to meet or exceed IECC 2018. In addition, there is no out-of-pocket expense upfront and a personal guarantee is not required. The money can be used to reduce the developer’s equity contribution or other forms of high-cost capital, and the builder ends up with a more efficient, more valuable, and more competitive building.

Are C-PACE assessments considered off-balance sheet?

Developers are encouraged to consult their accountants on this matter.

Is there clarity on the treatment of C-PACE as an operating expense from the perspective of the accounting industry?

Developers are encouraged to consult their accountants on this matter.

How do developers qualify for financing?

Developers must design their buildings to meet or exceed IECC 2018 to qualify for Colorado’s C-PACE program.

Can projects be financed retroactively through C-PACE?

Yes. New construction and gut-rehab projects are eligible for C-PACE financing within 24 months from the certificate of occupancy. Refer to the Program Guide for additional details.

Back to Top