The Illinois Energy Conservation Authority NFP (IECA) has been selected by Cook County as the program administrator for the Cook County Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing program for commercial real estate owners. The passing of the C-PACE ordinance by the Cook County Board makes Cook County the fourth county-wide C-PACE program in Illinois.
As the second largest county in the United States, Cook County’s passing of C-PACE legislation has the potential to provide commercial real estate owners with the opportunity to implement long-term funding for energy efficient, renewable energy and water conservation projects within commercial buildings.
“C-PACE is a responsible step towards providing long-term sustainable solutions and smart capital investments for developers and property owners,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Businesses are looking to county government and asking what incentives we can provide; thanks to our partners from the Illinois Energy Conservation Authority we have something substantial to offer.”
Introduced in Illinois in 2019, C-PACE is an innovative financing tool that provides long-term, fixed-rate funding to private building owners for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, electric vehicle charging and resiliency projects (“PACE projects”) to be installed in both existing or new commercial properties. C-PACE financing is currently available in 37 states, including the District of Columbia, and stimulates local economies by funding the upfront capital for PACE projects that may lower operating costs, generate clean energy, instill resiliency and promote water use conservation in commercial properties. From 2009 to 2020, C-PACE programs have funded more than 2,500 qualifying projects nationwide for a total of $2 billion, while also creating over 22,400 jobs.
“Cook County’s adoption of a C-PACE program provides a significant opportunity to drive economic development, growth and education of the C-PACE program’s benefits to local constituents,” said Mark Pikus, president of the IECA. “We look forward to assisting Cook County commercial real estate owners in implementing energy efficient capital improvements that not only may enhance the net operating income and value of the property, but also provide an array of benefits from job creation and business retention to tax savings.”