Arlington County Implements Innovative Sustainability Financing - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Finance, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 9, 2021

Arlington County Implements Innovative Sustainability Financing

Arlington County announced on July 6 that it is implementing an innovative financing deal using private sector funding to enhance businesses’ sustainability efforts. The Arlington Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program connects building owners with private capital providers. Under C-PACE, owners of existing buildings can obtain financing for up to 100% of the cost of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects for up to 25 years.

“Arlington continues to develop innovative solutions to help make our community more sustainable,” County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said in a statement. “C-PACE is such a solution: it both advances several goals in our Community Energy Plan and is the first of its kind for our small business community and new commercial developments. We’re thrilled to announce this step forward.”

For example, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company is using program capital to pay for roof upgrades and two solar panel systems totaling 44 kilowatts on two adjacent properties along Washington Boulevard.

 “The solar (PV) systems will lower our utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, 100% financing from Arlington C-PACE helped us avoid using cash on hand. That’s the right thing for our business and community,” restaurant owner John Snedden also said in the statement.

Beyond existing structures, commercial property developers can also access C-PACE financing for up to 20% of a new building’s total eligible construction cost if the prospective building is designed to exceed current energy code (VECC2015) performance by 5% or more, or exceed the former energy code (VECC2012) performance by 15% or more.

Arlington was the first county in Virginia to enact a C-PACE ordinance, launching the program in 2018 as part of the County’s Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy, known as AIRE. Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) financed the Rocklands loan.

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