Efficiency Maine Green Bank Applauds Cumberland, Augusta, and Westbrook as First Maine Municipalities to Adopt Ordinance Allowing “Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy” Loans
Quasi-state Agency Signs Capital Providers and Moves Forward with Finance Initiative to Facilitate Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Improvements in Commercial Properties
Augusta, Maine – August 24, 2023 – The Efficiency Maine Green Bank today congratulated the Town of Cumberland, the City of Augusta, and the City of Westbrook for being the first municipalities in the state to adopt an ordinance authorizing the use of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) loans in their communities. The ordinance was passed in Cumberland on July 10, in Augusta on July 20, and in Westbrook on August 21. The Efficiency Maine Green Bank also announced it recently has added the first registered capital providers to its new C-PACE program and is keen to see more Maine municipalities and lending institutions participate.
A C-PACE program provides access to loans for commercial property owners interested in undertaking energy efficiency and clean energy improvements on their buildings. The investment is recovered through savings on the consumers’ energy bills. In 2021, the Maine Legislature enacted L.D. 340, An Act to Allow for the Establishment of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (The “C-PACE Act”). The C-PACE Act authorizes the Efficiency Maine Trust to establish a C-PACE program.
“We congratulate Cumberland, Augusta, and Westbrook for making C-PACE loans available in their communities,” said Michael Stoddard, executive director of Efficiency Maine. “This provides a very attractive pathway for businesses to finance energy improvements, such as upgrading to heat pump systems for heating and cooling in their buildings. We strongly encourage more of Maine’s municipalities to adopt this ordinance so their local businesses can also take advantage of this initiative. Municipalities and lenders interested in joining the program can find more information at the Efficiency Maine website.”
“Energy costs have been rising and energy efficiency investments can be prohibitively expensive for commercial property owners,” said Keith Luke, economic development director for the City of Augusta. “By using the C-PACE program, commercial property owners can access financing at typically lower rates and over a longer term than with conventional business loans.”
Three capital providers have registered for the program, including Nuveen Green Capital and Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide C-PACE financing for commercial real estate projects in Augusta, Westbrook, and Cumberland,” said Mike Doty, senior originations director for Nuveen Green Capital. “We believe that the continued expansion of this cost-efficient financing mechanism in the great state of Maine will lead to the increased inclusion of sustainability measures in CRE projects – which will not only benefit local economies – but also the environment.”
“CounterpointeSRE looks forward to serving Mainers by providing C-PACE capital toward energy savings improvement projects that benefit the common good,” said Michele Pitale, managing director of PACE Finance at Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate.
Maine’s C-PACE program was launched in the spring of 2023. A C-PACE mechanism uses a loan from a capital provider to pay for the upfront costs associated with energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements. The loan is secured by a property tax assessment with an associated lien on the subject property, allowing financing for a longer term and the ability to transfer the repayment obligations to a subsequent owner of the property. The consumer-friendly terms of C-PACE financing are intended to enable more extensive building retrofits beyond what may be possible with traditional financing.
Before the Efficiency Maine C-PACE Program can accept loan applications, Maine law requires that interested municipalities and capital providers must opt in to participate in the program. In the meantime, developers, contractors, and commercial property owners who are interested in pursuing a C-PACE project can review the program documents and reach out to their municipalities to inquire about the status of a C-PACE ordinance in their towns. More details about Efficiency Maine’s C-PACE Program can be found at https://www.efficiencymaine.com/c-pace/. Interested parties also can email C-PACE@efficiencymaine.com or call 866-376-2463.
Efficiency Maine’s C-PACE Program is part of the Efficiency Maine Green Bank, which offers a suite of financing initiatives to support energy projects to help Maine’s homes and businesses lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions. These financing initiatives are designed to drive private capital into market gaps for energy efficiency and clean energy equipment and services. They are an important complement to the Efficiency Maine’s other incentives for residents and businesses. Information about the Efficiency Maine Green Bank can be found at https://www.efficiencymaine.com/green-bank/.
About Efficiency Maine Trust
The Efficiency Maine Trust (Efficiency Maine) is the independent, quasi-state agency established to plan and implement energy efficiency programs in Maine. Through its suite of nationally recognized programs, Efficiency Maine provides consumer information, marketing support, demonstration pilots, discounts, rebates, loans, and other initiatives to promote high-efficiency equipment and operations that help Maine’s homes, businesses, and institutions reduce their energy costs and lower their greenhouse gas emissions. The result is job growth, better grid reliability, improved energy independence, a stronger local economy, and critical progress toward meeting the State’s climate change goals. Efficiency Maine is governed by a Board of Trustees with oversight from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Visit www.efficiencymaine.com for more information.
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Kate Rankin, Director of Communications
Efficiency Maine Trust