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C-PACE: Financing Option for Montana Businesses

C-PACE: Financing Option for Montana Businesses

A new financing option is rapidly becoming available to Montana businesses! The common financing program, C-PACE, was enabled during the 2021 legislative session and is currently being rolled-out in counties across the state. The program, called Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy in many states, and termed Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancements in Montana, provides commercial property owners a way to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency investments. The program covers projects from solar panels to high efficiency HVAC systems and is available to businesses like farms and ranches, commercial office buildings, nonprofit organizations, and even multi-tenant buildings of 4 units or more. In a state with few financial incentives for clean energy, this is a great opportunity.

Property owners can opt-in to the C-PACE program, which can cover up to 100% of the total up-front cost of their renewable energy or energy efficiency projects. Then, they can pay back those costs through bi-annual assessments on their property taxes. The energy savings from the projects are often more than enough to cover the assessments, meaning this financing option can increase the bottom line of property owners and make their projects cash positive from day one. Like other property taxes, this financing method also allows the assessments to pass onto a new owner if the property is sold, ensuring that the project investment, and its benefits, transfer ownership together.

The state legislature enabled C-PACE in 2021, but it is up to local governments to authorize their community’s participation. This is a simple process that is often done at the county level, though cities can move forward with the process as well. Most often, the County Commissioners begin by voting to adopt a resolution of intent to enable C-PACE and then hold one or more public hearings for community input. After deciding to move forward, they would vote to adopt a resolution establishing the C-PACE program and setting the local terms and conditions of its implementation. Once the program is established at the local level, property owners can begin applying to participate.

Several counties across Montana are already moving forward with this local enabling process. To learn more about C-PACE and explore how your community is moving forward to enable this exciting new financing option, you can visit

Have other questions about financing and incentive options? Visit our Financing and Incentives webpage to learn more!

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