Frequently Asked Questions

Answers for CRE Professionals

Developer/Owner Questions & Answers

C-PACE financing provides low-cost funding advantages to projects that include sustainable design and energy efficiency measures. Most commercial projects can qualify for some C-PACE financing since modern building renovations and new construction projects include efficient equipment and energy-saving measures.
C-PACE financing can be added to your capital stack:

  • To increase overall financing and leverage
  • As an alternative to more expensive equity options or mezzanine funding
  • To allow you to stay liquid or maintain owner equity for your next project
  • To cover cost overruns from change order or escalating construction costs
  • To ensure your energy efficient design choices don’t get value engineered out

One Minute Video: Find out how PACE Equity financing impacts your IRR

Yes, PACE Equity uses utility-impacting measures to provide a new funding option for your capital stack. We now offer a substantially reduced rate and other financial and marketing benefits when you use our CIRRUS Low Carbon funding which includes third party verification for your building. Our CIRRUS Low Carbon funding provides the benefits of green building certifications such as LEED® but with additional financial incentives. Learn more.

PACE Equity offers a Fast Track™ Funding process that guides you through step-by-step from a first pass estimate to funding. The first time you do a C-PACE project it often feels like you have a lot to learn, but we’ve done hundreds so you can rely on us to make it easy.

Request a First Pass Estimate of funding for your project
Do an online Funding Application for your project

One Minute Video: Fast Track™ Funding

In our experience, 8 out of 10 deals at PACE Equity START with primary lenders who are unaware or uncomfortable with C-PACE. If this happens to you, don’t be surprised! However, over 300 lenders across the U.S. (large and small), have already consented to C-PACE in the capital stacks they fund. We’ve talked to lenders hundreds of times and are experts at educating lenders on the merits of C-PACE in a capital stack (read our Insights article on this topic!). If you talk to a lender about C-PACE and they push back; call the experts at PACE Equity!

Read our Insights article on Educating Senior Lenders

Most projects with modern building practices can qualify for some C-PACE financing without any changes to design. But we’ve learned that there is a proven way to maximize the amount of available funding while meeting C-PACE financing requirements — and we’ve got the process to get it right, every time. We call it the Fast Track™ Funding process, but it isn’t all about speed. The PACE Equity engineering team analyzes your project and suggests optional design tweaks that can make a big difference for your efficiency and funding. Our proven process removes the risk of a funding roadblock because we know detailed design criteria and we perform our own energy study.

Read our Insights article on Design Assistance.
Read our Insights article on How Much Funding Can I Get for My Development Project

Do an online Funding Application for your project

C-PACE is a voluntary source of financing that falls below the line and should be treated as a debt service constraint and not an operating expense. It is not an increased property tax. Municipalities want to encourage commercial building to be sustainable, so they have adopted C-PACE and a simple special assessment structure as a vehicle for payment which makes it transferable with the property.

C-PACE financing is private capital funding. Financing decisions are generally made independently of any municipal entity. The local municipality will pass legislation to approve C-PACE financing and generally delegates the approval to an administrator of a special improvement district. Using the tax assessment structure allows the financing to be transferred easily to the next owner.

Learn more about how C-PACE works.

One Minute Video: States activate PACE financing to improve energy efficiency & create jobs – with private capital

Yes. PACE Equity pioneered the idea of passing costs through to tenants and guests who benefit from the building improvements. This means improved returns! Different asset classes have different ways to accomplish this. Contact us to discuss this option for your project.

Banker/Lender Questions & Answers

There will be an outstanding tax bill and a substantial amount of time allowed to get any outstanding back payments up to date. This is often multiple years. A great protection for lenders is that we have no way of calling the principal balance in the event of a default. The only payment obligation is the amount due at that time, not future payments or principal. In the case of a missed payment, PACE Equity asset management would generally be reaching out to the lender to ensure they are aware of outstanding balance if it is not made within a reasonable timeframe of being due.

Not at all. You maintain complete autonomy to call a default and foreclose, and your security interest is protected. You do not need to involve us in a foreclosure.

There are no SNDAs or intercreditor agreements. The only paperwork needed for the bank to sign is an agreement accepting the financing from PACE Equity. Many lenders like the simplicity that they do not have to work through complicated intercreditor agreements to enforce their rights such as what is required with mezzanine financing.

PACE is a voluntary financing obligation. It is not considered an operating expense, nor would it be included in any appraisal. It is underwritten as a part of debt service.

Both the lender and PACE Equity are doing underwriting on the property to ensure the project has adequate cash flow for its obligations. You also have sign-off and control of whether or not to accept PACE Equity financing.

In order for PACE Equity to be involved, there has to be an improvement to the property, which increases the collateral value. After the project, it is a more valuable building with lower long-term operating costs.

You’re able to differentiate yourself with competitors by partnering with PACE Equity. You can bring in a capital source for future clients, as well as have a competitive advantage for potential clients.

An energy study is required to qualify for PACE Equity financing and will quantify the utility savings and other benefits of the improvements. The energy modeling looks at current utility spend or will use a building model based on local code.