Richmond City Council approves - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  November 21, 2019

Richmond City Council approves clean energy loan program

The Richmond, Va., City Council has approved the city’s first C-PACE program, which will allow commercial property owners to gain loans to pursue clean energy improvements on their buildings.

The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing Program will give property owners the ability to pursue 30-year loans ranging from $50,000 to $25 million to finance clean energy and water efficiency upgrades for both existing buildings and new constructions, Richmond BizSense reported Nov. 21.

“I think it’s a really positive thing,” Councilwoman Kristen Larson told the publication. “It’s all administered by a third party; it’s not like we need to build this big program that’s in our administration. You basically say you want to do it, you put the RFP out or just tie on to another locality’s contract, and then you hire the third party to administrate it and they’re paid through the program. It encourages clean energy, and it’s another way for people to finance clean energy – another tool in that development toolbox.”

According to Richmond BizSense, the program would go into effect July 1, 2020 and would use a third-party administrator. The loans will be provided to eligible properties, including commercial and industrial properties and residential developments exceeding five dwelling units, through private lenders or public funds approved by the council.

The approval of this program makes Richmond the seventh locality in Virginia to adopt such a program since 2017. Properties will be able to use the funding for projects such as renewable energy systems, including solar, geothermal, wind and methane recovery, as well as high-efficiency lighting, HVAC upgrades and green roofs.

A major appeal of the program is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as enhancing the city’s real property tax base and attracting potential businesses and homeowners.

Keywords: Richmond

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