Frequently Asked Questions

 C-PACE Eligibility, General Questions, and More…

C-PACE Eligibility

Where does Greenworks Lending operate?

Greenworks operates wherever C-PACE programs are available! Please view Greenworks Lending’s coverage map here. Programs are expanding rapidly so please check back often.

How can I find out if my property type is eligible?

C-PACE works for a wide range of properties—most commercial, industrial, non-profit, and multi-family properties qualify. Greenworks Lending can check the eligibility of your property and project with a pre-screen. Please complete this form with the address of your property and we will check your property’s eligibility.

What project types are eligible?

Greenworks can finance energy-related deferred maintenance/capital expenditures, solar and roofs, as well as energy related work associated in a new construction project. Most energy or water saving projects qualify for C-PACE. We can also finance any associated soft costs (ex. permitting) or associated projects (ex. a roof replacement). In addition, some states allow resiliency improvements including wind resistance, flood mitigation, and seismic hardening. Contact us if you have a question about a specific measure.

Are there properties that are not eligible for C-PACE?

While C-PACE can finance most standard commercial building types, it’s not right for everyone.

  • C-PACE does not work for government owned or municipal buildings. However, commercial properties on a leasehold with a government owner may apply.
  • Greenworks Lending does not offer C-PACE for residentially zoned buildings (4 units or less). If you’re interested in Residential PACE—check out pacenation.org to find a Residential PACE program in your area.
  • C-PACE also does not work for properties that are currently delinquent on their real property taxes (or have a history of serious delinquency) or for properties that have severe environmental remediation issues.

General Questions

What happens if I sell my building in a few years?

C-PACE automatically transfers with the sale of the property – so the next owner would take on the repayment obligation and no payoff is required. Most buyers and sellers both prefer this option. The C-PACE assessment may be voluntarily prepaid at any time, however.

My non-profit does not pay taxes; can I still use C-PACE?

Yes, you can still use C-PACE. Even if you are a non-profit, your property may still receive a tax bill with certain charges. If you do not receive a tax bill, your property should still have a tax ID number for the tax collector to reach you—and you would just start receiving a bill with C-PACE as the only item listed. Greenworks also offers a program called CollectivePACE that unlocks the financial benefits of solar for nonprofits and tax exempt entities delivering them greater savings.

Why would I use C-PACE instead of a bank loan?

For most borrowers, C-PACE is significantly more attractive than a typical loan you could get from your bank. C-PACE is a secure tax assessment and gives owners several unique benefits:

  • No down payment and covers all hard and soft costs – $0 out of pocket
  • Non-Recourse – there is no personal or business guarantee and even in the event of foreclosure we could never call due anything other than the current amount due.
  • Fixed Rate for 20+ years – other types of funding usually can’t do more than 5 years at a fixed rate – so this is also ultra-secure for borrowers and protects against rising rates.
  • Cash flow positive – the long term means that each year, borrowers save more on their energy bill than they pay back on their property tax bill – so the project savings outweigh the annual payment from day one
Why would an owner use C-PACE instead of cash to fund an upgrade?

Most building owners prefer to use their cash for core business operations or faster payback investments. This is especially true when owners can instead access attractive financing that doesn’t tie up their borrowing capacity with their bank. For this reason, most business owners institute strict protocols for use of cash – such as requiring projects to have a maximum 3-year or 5-year simple payback. C-PACE helps overcome these hurdles.

What is your average project size?

 We fund projects from $250,000 to multi-million dollar new developments and gut rehabs. Currently, our average project size is around $1M. Please click here for case studies of Greenworks financed projects.

Can I combine C-PACE with utility incentives and other rebates/grants?

Yes, we encourage owners to use incentives and grants wherever possible to supplement their project’s existing ROI. C-PACE is an ownership structure, so all the benefits of ownership (incentives, tax benefits, RECs, etc.) accrue to the owner.

Can C-PACE be used to recapitalize completed projects?

Some eligible upgrades can be financed retroactively within a state’s lookback period, depending on statutory restrictions. Learn more here. Please contact us for details on your specific project.

Mortgage Lender Consent

Why does my mortgage lender need to sign a consent form?

Like other benefit assessment payments (e.g. water, sewer, school district, etc.) C-PACE financing is repaid alongside property taxes – and because it is increasing your annual tax + assessment payment, states typically mandate that a mortgage lenders sign a consent or acknowledgement form confirming the assessment will be added to the property’s annual payment obligations and confirming the assessment does not constitute a default or breach any mortgage covenants . This is a protection for the property owner and the mortgage holder.

Why should my mortgage lender consent?

Mortgage lenders consent to C-PACE financed projects because they are improving both the value of the building (their collateral) and the property owner’s cash flow (their ability to pay the mortgage). This improves the main underwriting metrics used by mortgage lenders. Further, the mortgage lender is only being asked to consent to the annual payment having priority over their mortgage because, by law, the C-PACE assessment payments that are not yet levied or due can never accelerate. Over 200 banks nationwide have consented to C-PACE—many have consented multiple times.

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