Financing Resiliency Retrofits through Commercial PACE

By Holt Mountcastle, RE Tech Advisors on May 02, 2018

In 2017, the U.S. experienced a historic number of weather and climate disasters that had a cumulative cost of over $300 billion. Impacts from these events can be mitigated by improving building resiliency. Resiliency improvements typically take the form of retrofits to the envelope, structure, and/or systems of a building—often including energy generation, efficiency, and/or storage. These projects can come with a high upfront capital cost, and while some generate immediate savings to help offset this cost, some do not.

Commercial property assessed clean energy (CPACE) can help overcome this challenge by providing long-term financing for resiliency in regions where PACE is available. Commercial PACE enables building owners to borrow money for energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other resiliency projects and make repayments via an assessment on their property tax bill.

Commercial PACE has several advantages that can make it attractive for building resiliency improvements:

  • 100% financing for hard and soft costs of qualified resiliency projects
  • Longer-term financing at lower rates when compared to other financing options
  • Financing is connected to the building, not to the individual borrower

Better Buildings has developed a Commercial PACE Financing for Resiliency Toolkit to provide an overview for building owners, operators, and occupants that may want to take advantage of CPACE financing to improve resiliency in their facilities. The toolkit features case studies highlighting CPACE funded resiliency projects, including distributed generation and microgrid, hurricane-proofing, and seismic retrofits, along with a detailed fact sheet and webinar on the topic.