New program debuts to boost interest in renewable energy with building owners and developers

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's Energy Authority is working to stimulate interest among building owners and property developers in solar energy.

The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or C-PACE, was rolled out during a recent webinar sponsored by the Energy Authority. According to program manager Maryrose Myrtetus, C-PACE is a voluntary program that gives city property owners access to long-term financing equal to the useful life of the improvements and coming in generally at a lower cost than most financing on the market.

Myrtetus said the webinar connected building owners and developers with the lending community, and that unique terms made it an attractive option.

"This financing tool lets property owners pay back the cost of paying for these energy and water and renewable energy installations via a special assessment on their properties," she explained, "sort of similar to a property tax assessment."

Myrtetus said the project doesn't have to be a major installation or renovation, as long as it meets the program's goals for saving energy.

"Increasing the efficiency of an HVAC system," she said as an example. "Sealing up the building envelope to increase energy savings in the building. And it also applies to water conservation. So, installing low-flow or low-flush toilets." 

Myrtetus said the program is a part of the city's effort to reduce the overall carbon footprint. "That could mean solar," she detailed. "It could mean other things like fuel cells, other types of renewable installations on-site at the property."