County Council Passes Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE)
The Washington County Board of County Commissioners has unanimously approved the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) ordinance to join the statewide C-PACE program. Passage of the ordinance makes the county eligible to participate in the Maryland Commercial PACE (MDPACE) program, administered by the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC). The PACE program allows for access to low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency improvements to commercial and industrial properties.
Since 2014, C-PACE has been available statewide as a tool for commercial property owners looking to finance energy efficiency, and renewable energy and water efficiency improvements, pending local ordinance adoption. Maryland House Bill 517: Clean Energy Loan Program – Remediation and Resiliency, enacted in 2021, expanded the scope of eligible projects to include resiliency, environmental remediation, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, stormwater management, and indoor air and water quality as qualifying measures for C-PACE financing. In addition, the program will allow for the refinancing of recently completed C-PACE eligible projects.
“With the passage of C-PACE, Washington County hopes to use this economic development tool to attract both new construction projects to the area and upgrade improvements to existing buildings,” said John F. Barr, President of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners. “Benefits of this tool can extend beyond savings for the initial projects, to cost savings for operations and improved building health and comfort for occupants, resulting in direct benefits for our local communities and residents.”
Building improvements financed using C-PACE can be completed with minimal up-front, out-of-pocket costs to property owners and can generate positive cash flow upon completion. The results may include reduced energy or other operating costs, improved business profitability, increased property value, and improved resiliency to the real estate.
“Over $97M in C-PACE financing has been issued across the state, with $16M through the MDPACE program in 2022, alone,” said Katherine Magruder, Executive Director of the Maryland Clean Energy Center. “We applaud Washington County’s adoption of C-PACE, so their local commercial and industrial property owners have access to this low-cost, long-term financing option.”
Washington County will facilitate the levy of a lien on participating properties and the PACE loan is repaid through the property taxes. The Washington County Board of County Commissioners and the Washington County Department of Business Development are pleased to fully support programs such as PACE for Commercial and Industrial Properties that encourage energy efficiency. For more information about this program or others in Washington County, MD, please visit washco-md.net/Business-Development.
MCEC is a corporate instrumentality of the state, created by the Maryland General Assembly in 2008, with a statute-directed mission to advance clean energy and energy efficiency products, services, and technologies as part of a specific economic development strategy, which includes oversight of the MDPACE Program, administered by Abacus Property Solutions. For more information about MDPACE, including the program guidance, forms, and the application process details, please visit md-pace.com.