Northampton County adopts clean-energy financing program

Northampton County Council approved a resolution to adopt the program at its May 2 meeting. The program is known as the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or C-PACE
About $500 million has been invested nationwide through C-PACE loans, under which commercial building owners are able to borrow money for energy upgrades and pay them back over a period up to 20 years. The loans are repaid through a voluntary lien, levied and recorded against the benefiting property, to be repaid along with property taxes.
County leaders believe C-PACE has potential as a job creator and can be an opportunity to invest in the health and longevity of area buildings.
“Northampton County is excited to be the first county in the commonwealth to adopt this program that will support family-sustaining jobs and the Northampton County business community, as well as improve the sustainability of our built environment,” said Northampton County executive Lamont G. McClure.
The Sustainable Energy Fund, based in Schnecksville, will administer the program and connect project developers to authorized contractors and lenders.
“The Sustainable Energy Fund is proud to offer its 20 years of experience in clean-energy lending to help counties and cities across the state take advantage of this powerful new tool for bringing investment, jobs, and clean energy to their communities,” said John Costlow, president of the Sustainable Energy Fund, which promotes and invests in renewable energy projects.
Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance Policy Director Julian Boggs described how the program might create more jobs in the state, calling C-PACE a “win-win” for Pennsylvania communities.
“It makes financing energy efficiency easier,” he said, “which means more work for companies that retrofit buildings, sell high-efficiency equipment and design smart buildings.”
Thirty states in addition to Pennsylvania have adopted legislation enabling local C-PACE programs.

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