Property Owners

Increase property values with affordable financing for efficiency improvements

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes. With energy costs on the rise—and an increasing focus on sustainability—conserving energy and reducing operating expenses continues to be a priority for building owners in Montana. 

However, longstanding barriers tend to impede investment in energy conservation building improvements. Now, with the help of MTPACE, low-cost, long-term financing is available for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy systems, and water conservation upgrades in participating communities!

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How Does It Work?

To take advantage of C-PACE, property owners develop qualifying energy and water conservation projects with contractors of their choice. Property owners then arrange C-PACE financing with a qualified C-PACE lender, and if applicable, acquire Mortgage Lender Consent. Next, the property owner applies to MTPACE to qualify their project for C-PACE financing according the program requirements. If the C-PACE project is approved, the MTPACE, property owner, and lender enter into a financing agreement that governs the terms of the MTPACE Special Charge.  

CPACE Financing provides:  

  • Low-cost, upfront financing that covers up to 100 percent of project costs
  • Long repayment periods (up to 20 years)
  • Reduced energy consumption and operating expenses
  • Upgraded, more efficient and modern systems
  • Immediate return on investment/positive cash flow
  • Increased net operating income and property value
  • Shared cost and energy savings with building tenants (if applicable)

Eligible Projects

MTPACE is available to eligible commercial and industrial property owners in participating communities. The program supports the redevelopment of existing buildings, as well as new construction projects.

Please note that new construction projects require additional verification and documentation of energy savings above a baseline, as detailed in the Program Guidelines.

TYPICAL MEASURES FUNDED BY C-PACE

HVAC
HVAC
Industrial Lighting
Lighting
Building Envelope
Envelope
Roofing and Insulation
Roofing Insulation
Elevators
Elevators
Recirculating Water Pipes
Water Reuse
Sink Fixture
Water Fixtures
Agricultural Irrigation System
Irrigation
Cogeneration Pipes
Cogen
Solar panels being installed
Solar

Frequently Asked Questions

The Program Guidelines sets forth the MTPACE guidelines and processes for which property owners seeking to complete a C-PACE project may receive information to utilize C-PACE financing. The Program Guidelines are subject to approval by the Montana Facility Finance Authority board of directors. A copy of the program guidelines are available to property owners here.

Any property located in a C-PACE district that is utilized for general commercial purposes such as retail, industrial, office, non-profit, agricultural, and hospitality uses, as well as certain multifamily properties with four or more units.

C-PACE is available for renovations, expansions and new construction projects including those that have been completed in the prior 36 months. C-PACE financing may be used to pay for qualified improvements to eligible properties.

Qualified improvements are permanent improvements intended to decrease water or energy consumption or demand, including a product, device, or interacting group of products or devices on the customer’s side of the meter that use energy technology to generate electricity, provide thermal energy, or regulate temperature. Under the C-PACE Act, products or devices that are not permanently fixed to real property are not considered to be qualified improvements.

The eligible Qualified Improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning (“HVAC“) systems
  • High efficiency chillers, boilers, and furnaces
  • High efficiency water heating systems
  • Energy management systems and controls
  • Distributed generation systems
  • High efficiency lighting system upgrades
  • Building enclosure and envelope improvements
  • Water conservation and wastewater recovery and reuse systems
  • Combustion and burner upgrades
  • Heat recovery and steam traps
  • Water management systems and controls (“indoor and outdoor”)
  • High efficiency irrigation equipment
  • Solar energy systems

Yes, C-PACE projects can qualify and receive additional rebates and incentives including grants, tax credits and rebates from utility providers. Property owners are encouraged to obtain all applicable government, utility provider or manufacturer rebates, and other upfront cost reductions to reduce the total C-PACE project cost for purposes of calculating the amount of the financing.

The property owner must submit an Energy Assessment or Renewable Energy Feasibility Study for the C-PACE project that evaluates the proposed improvements the owner is seeking to finance and is consistent with the requirement set forth in the Program Guidelines. The C-PACE project must be shown to be cost-effective in that the estimated monetary savings of the project will exceed the cost of the project over the life of the assessment

All property owners must provide the written consent of the existing mortgage lender or other real property lienholder of record on the eligible property prior to submitting a full application. The lender consent template that property owners need to complete is available here.

The C-PACE financing term should not exceed the expected life of the proposed improvements as described in the energy assessment. For projects that include multiple improvements, the weighted average useful life of the new equipment must equal or exceed the term of the C-PACE financing. Depending on the equipment installed terms are often made for up to 20 years.

The following costs may be rolled into the C-PACE financing: 

  • Energy Assessments/Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies
  • Equipment costs 
  • Installation costs 
  • Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs
  • Feasibility costs
  • Recording fees
  • Energy Evaluations 
  • Design, drafting, engineering, labor costs  
  • Permit fees 
  • Inspection charges
  • Appraisal costs

Application Fee

A $250 fee is due to the Authority at the time the full application is submitted for review. This fee is to be paid before the Authority will begin review of the full application.

Program Fee

The Program Fee is paid to the Authority at or prior to the C-PACE financing closing date. A one-time administration processing and Program Fee that equals one percent (1.00%) of the C-PACE financing amount. The Program Fee shall be no less than a minimum of $1,000, nor greater than a maximum of $75,000. The final fee will be reduced by the amount of the initial application fee.  The fee may be capitalized into the C-PACE financing amount for the C-PACE project.

C-PACE financing is available for the construction of new buildings as well as the substantial (gut) renovation OR adaptive reuse of vacant buildings. New construction projects, unlike existing-building retrofits, do not benefit from a history of pre-improvement energy consumption data from which baseline energy consumption can be formulated. Without the benefit of this baseline building performance data, additional Energy Assessment requirements are necessary.

Yes, property owners with retroactive C-PACE projects may apply to MTPACE to be approved for C-PACE financing. Retroactive C-PACE projects are subject to the following additional requirements:

  • All such retroactive C-PACE financings must occur within thirty six months of the time elapsed between the later of the completion of the installation or the certificate of occupancy for the eligible property and application of the C-PACE financing, unless otherwise approved by the Authority.
  • For any such retroactive C-PACE project, the term of the C-PACE financing will be reduced to account for any of the Energy Conservation Measure’s life that has elapsed between the time of installation and the close of a C-PACE Financing. For example, if a C-PACE Financing is funded one year after the later of either the installation of the Energy Conservation Measure (s) or certificate of occupancy, the eligible term of the financing will be reduced by one year.