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New financing tool available for commercial building clean energy projects

New financing options for commercial property clean energy projects are available thanks to an intergovernmental agreement between the City and County of Denver and the Colorado New Energy Improvement District.

The agreement, adopted by the Denver City Council, allows Colorado's Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to be offered within the City and County of Denver. C-PACE offers financing options for clean energy projects on both new projects and renovations of existing buildings.

"Commercial building operations account for the majority of our city's greenhouse gas emissions, so we're thrilled to offer a new tool that will not only reduce our carbon footprint but save property owners money," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Sustainable development is smart development, and we're now better positioned to encourage a built environment that leads Denver toward a more sustainable future."

Through C-PACE, city property owners and developers will be able to access a new financing tool to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements. The voluntary program lowers the cost of third-party financing, which is repaid through the property tax assessment process. A voluntary assessment on the building owner's property tax bill can provide long-term financing of up to 20 years and stays with the property at the time of the sale, removing traditional barriers to financing projects with payback cycles longer than two to three years.

New commercial construction projects that meet building code requirements are eligible for C-PACE at up to 15 percent of construction costs. The program also makes available an additional 5 percent of construction costs for new buildings to be financed if project teams improve the performance of their buildings 5 percent beyond what the code requires.

"Denver's implementation of this program, as well as the changes to our building code, will go a long way toward increasing our community's energy security for generations to come," says Jerry Tinianow, Denver's chief sustainability officer. "Efforts to make commercial properties more efficient help the city to achieve its 2020 Sustainability Goals for energy and climate while lowering operating costs and supporting the local economy."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
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