Your Guide to PACE in NYC

New York City Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a program designed to help commercial property owners finance energy-saving improvements, meet their operational goals and ESG objectives, and comply with the Climate Mobilization Act (LL97). The program is a public-private partnership administered by the NYCEEC and the NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability. It aligns private capital from lenders (such as CounterpointeSRE) with projects that ultimately deliver a reduction in carbon emissions. Please explore below...

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PACE Program Benefits

100% funding for energy-saving projects.

Finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, resiliency improvements, and related costs.

Long-terms, with fixed interest.

Projects are financed over the useful life of the improvements with fully amortizing terms ranging between 5 and 30 years.

Owner keeps all tax credits & incentives.

All tax credits and utility incentives stay with owners for the entire loan.

Designed to assist with Climate Act Compliance.

PACE reduces the financial hurdles to compliance with LL97.

No personal guarantee.

Financing is tied to the property, is non-recourse with no technical default provisions.

Who can use NYC's PACE program?

As the New York City PACE program develops (program launch expected in Q1 2021), one thing is certain: PACE financing will facilitate timely investment in energy-efficient capital improvements to commercial & multifamily buildings, particularly (but not limited to) those subject to the terms of Local Law 97 (Climate Mobilization Act) and programs such as the Façade Inspection Safety Program (Local Law 11).

Property Owners

Property owners of buildings with greater than 25,000 square feet are subject to comply with Local Law 97, which limits carbon emissions. For most, this is an expensive proposition, yet NYC’s PACE policy supports owners making the sustainability investments driven by the Climate Mobilization Act with long-term low-cost financing.

That’s good news, but there is more:

  • First, the program isn't exactly new. Commercial property owners across the nation have long-used PACE funding to drive down operating expenses with energy-efficient and renewable energy investments.
  • Second, smaller commercial buildings, not subject to Local Law 97 can also use the PACE program to make improvements that save energy and reduce emissions.
PACE for NYC Property Owners
NYC PACE Programs for Developers

Developers

In addition to driving improvement of existing building stock, the Climate Mobilization Act accounts for the City’s new construction. New buildings are required to comply with emissions limits regardless of energy code compliance. Fortunately, PACE funding is available for new construction projects where it can play a significant role in reducing the weighted average cost of capital or increasing leverage. More importantly, the financing helps developers avoid value-engineering decisions that could exclude often more-expensive, yet more sustainable elements from a build.

Energy & Efficiency Service Professionals

Contractors, energy services providers and manufacturers will play a key role in helping New York City deliver on its aggressive sustainability goals. As each stakeholder develops energy-saving projects and equipment installations, they will benefit from being able to introduce C-PACE financing to help reduce costs, which are a primary barrier to entry for building owners and developers. In short, knowing the details of the PACE program can help professionals close more business and thus deliver more renewable, green roofs, and energy-efficiency projects throughout the city. 

PACE for NYC Builders

A PACE Program for New York City

The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, are finalizing program details, but here's the gist:

Basic Requirements

First, your property needs to be in the five boroughs, though the State has a program too. Then you have to be current on your property taxes and be making capital improvements that save energy.

Property Eligibility

NYC PACE is designed to help commercial properties of all types, from multifamily to mixed-use and beyond, but there are some things we need to check, such as environmental concerns. Pre-screen your property by using the "ask a question" button above to tell us about your property.

Eligible Measures

Generally, if the improvement made to a building saves energy or water, the answer is 'yes,' it's eligible. There are even provisions for other public benefits. The list is long, so whether you have a fully scoped efficiency project or are just starting to explore compliance with Local Law 97, use the "ask a question" button above to start a conversation about what you can achieve through the program and what type of energy audit or feasibility study may be required.

The Funding Mechanism

PACE financing is provided by private capital providers (no public funds are deployed) through voluntary special tax assessments. Repayment is made through the property tax bill over a long period of time, generally matching the estimated useful life of the energy-saving equipment involved in a project. To learn more about funding amounts and general underwriting standards, please "ask a question" above.

Program Origins

Local Law No 96 of 2019, established the City's sustainable energy loan program, i.e. PACE. The law is considered companion legislation to Local Law No 97, which passed a part of the Climate Mobilization Act by the New York City Council in March 2019. The latter requires large existing buildings (over 25,000 sqft.) in New York City to reduce their carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. PACE programs, while new to New York City, are not new. In fact, 24 states and a number of cities, such as Chicago have active programs.

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