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C-PACE Financing

Commercial - Property Assessed Capital Enhancements is a new financing opportunity enabled in the 2021 legislative session. Many cities and counties are rapidly going through the process of opting to participate.

Commercial - Property Assessed Capital Enhancements (C-PACE) is an exciting new financing opportunity in Montana for renewable energy development and energy efficiency upgrades. 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. For more information about qualifying properties and project types, visit LastBestPace.org.

How does it work?

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 to participate in the C-PACE program, which establishes their community as a C-PACE district where financing and assessments can occur for property owners who choose to participate. Once the program is established at the local level, property owners can begin applying for C-PACE financing for their projects.

Is your County participating in C-PACE? Check out the latest map of established C-PACE districts. (Coming soon)

Are you a contractor interested in working on C-PACE projects?

To work on C-PACE financed projects in Montana, you need to register. Once you are a registered contractor through the C-PACE program, the the Montana Facilities Finance Authority (MFFA) will include you on the list of registered contractors that they share with property owners who have applied to do C-PACE financed projects. This is a simply process that can open a new market of potential opportunities to your business.

Current criteria to be accepted as a C-PACE Contractor*:

  • Company is licensed to do business in the State of Montana
  • Contractor has all required licenses and appropriate certifications listed below
  • Company has $1,000,000 in liability coverage
  • Company is bonded
  • Company provides workers comp coverage for employees
  • Company has not been disbarred from working in Montana

*Criteria are subject to change and registered contractors will be notified of any changes.

Contractors performing work in the below referenced areas must have one or more employees
assigned to the project with one of the following certifications:

HVAC
- Masters’ plumber license
- EPA Section 608 Type 2 or 3 certification

Solar Photovoltaic/Solar Thermal
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (“NABCEP”)
- Solar PV Installer
- Solar Thermal Installer

Geothermal
- International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (“IGSHPA”)
- Accredited Driller
- Accredited Installer

 

To learn more about becoming a registered contractor, and to begin the registration process, visit LastBestPace.org.