Bridgeport Hosts Commercial PACE
Bridgeport, Conn., October 25, 2012 —The City of Bridgeport and Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), as part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, jump-started Connecticut’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program with a matchmaking forum at the Bijou Theatre. The forum brought together energy and finance stakeholders, encouraged and facilitated the development of strategic partnerships and provided information regarding the C-PACE program.
Approximately 100 attendees, including building owners, capital providers, and contractors participated in today’s “matchmaking” forum. The event included brief presentations from Mayor Finch, CEFIA President Bryan Garcia, Phil Kuchma, a local property owner, Martin Gitlin from Structured Finance, Pat McDonnell from The United Illuminating Company, and Jessica Bailey, Director of the C-PACE program at CEFIA.
C-PACE creates a vehicle for Bridgeport’s building owners to access low-cost, long-term financing from private investors for energy upgrades. Bridgeport was the first city in Connecticut to become eligible for this financing by passing a resolution that allows collection of the repayment of energy loans through the property tax system. Norwalk and Hartford were the second and third municipalities to join and CEFIA expects a dozen municipalities to fully engage by year’s end.
“Through our BGreen2020 effort, the City is working diligently to reduce its carbon footprint, including making our municipal buildings more energy efficient. Thanks to the C-PACE program, in partnership with CEFIA, we can now help private businesses lower their energy costs without having to spend a lot of money on energy improvements,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Bridgeport is proud to be the first in the state to become eligible for this program, and we look forward to helping our business owners save money and operate more efficiently.”
During a special session of the legislature last June Connecticut passed Public Act 12-2, legislation which enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy or “PACE”, an innovative financing model that will allow building owners across the state to access cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy. PACE is a tax-lien financing program that allows interested property owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and clean energy improvements on their buildings through an additional charge (“assessment”) on their property tax. Similar to a sewer tax assessment, capital provided under a PACE program is secured by a senior lien on the owner’s property tax bill and paid back over time. This makes it a very attractive investment opportunity for private capital and a very attractive financial offering for building owners.
“We are very excited about the potential for this to drive private capital into the real estate market in Bridgeport and ultimately throughout Connecticut. C-PACE will play a significant role in helping Connecticut become a national leader in clean energy by facilitating major energy savings for commercial and industrial properties and will further support economic development and job creation,” said CEFIA C-PACE Director, Jessica Bailey. “It also creates new opportunities for Connecticut banks and financial institutions to invest in local clean energy projects through a proven financing mechanism.”
C-PACE spreads the cost of energy improvements over the expected life of the measures and allows the repayment obligation to transfer automatically, like other property assessments, to the next owner if the property is sold. C-PACE is a policy that promotes economic development upgrades, keeps energy costs down for Bridgeport’s businesses, and provides a platform to maintain a competitive advantage.
About the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority
CEFIA was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency supersedes the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CEFIA’s mission is to help ensure Connecticut’s energy security and community prosperity by realizing its environmental and economic opportunities through clean energy finance and investments. As the nation’s first full-scale clean energy finance authority, CEFIA will leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about CEFIA, please visit www.ctcleanenergy.com.
About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the state, and your local electric and gas utilities.