Rochester NY Pilot Project in the Works

We’re pleased to announce the launch of our new initiative to support the introduction of C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) in the City of Rochester.

As part of this, we are seeking to conduct a national Demonstration Project for what we call Community PACE and, at the hyperlocal level, “Neighborhood PACE,” as a way to scale up the adoption of C-PACE across the country. Some of this is further described at our new Rochester-focused websites, PossibleRochester.com (for business) and PossibleRochester.org, our community site (which is currently under construction).

The purpose of the Demonstration Project is to develop a replicable model for leveraging C-PACE for local economic development, climate action, and community regeneration.

For those just learning about C-PACE, the simplest way to describe it is that it’s a way to provide long-term, fixed-rate financing to commercial property owners and developers for 100% of the costs of upgrading their buildings to higher energy-efficiency standards and on-site renewable energy generation.

Yet Commercial PACE—heralded by Scientific American in 2010 as one of the year’s top ten world-changing ideas—has so far failed to live up to its potential. In twelve years, across twenty-plus states, some with multiple programs, C-PACE has so far seen just a little over $2 billion in investment, a far cry from the $129+ billion recently estimated by NAESCO as needed in the next four years. About a dozen “boutique” PACE lenders are all looking for the biggest possible deals across multiple states and jurisdictions, providing at best individual building upgrades without generating much of the added potential economic, social, or environmental impact on the community.

We aim to change this. Our initial goal is to familiarize the commercial real estate industry with C-PACE to attract “early adopters” to finance new clean energy improvements (or refinance recently completed ones). We will then focus on developing the Neighborhood Demonstration project, with the intention of partnering with other public and private organizations to help us develop and evaluate it.

Stay tuned for more detailed information or reach out to us at team@possiblerochester.com.

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