What is the Cook County Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy
(C-PACE) Program?

Commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing is an innovative tool that provides low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and resiliency projects in commercial buildings. Cook County commercial property owners can obtain up to 100% upfront financing from private capital providers for qualified upgrades such as HVAC, lighting and solar photovoltaic systems, and many more, in both existing buildings and new construction projects. By doing these efficiency improvement, annual utility savings are generally greater than the annual C-PACE financing payments, generating positive cash flow from day one.

More About the Financing

The loan term of C-PACE financing may extend up to the useful life of the eligible improvements, which could be up to 30 years. One of the distinctive features of C-PACE is that it is secured by a special assessment lien on the property and is repaid as a line item on the property tax bill. Because it is attached to the property, the C-PACE special assessment does not accelerate or become due upon sale, allowing property owners to invest in deeper retrofits, without paying off the financing in the short-term.

Key Benefits

  • No up-front costs in most cases (100% financing, including hard and soft costs)
  • Long-term, fixed interest rate financing (up to 30 years) resulting in lower annual payments
  • In many cases, cash flow positive within the first year
  • Shared costs and benefits with your tenants (if allowed by lease)
  • Potential for off-balance sheet treatment
  • Reduces capital expenditure budget - upgrades paid through operational savings
  • Eligible measures cover broad capital and facility improvements
  • Extends building lifespan
  • Enhances the value of the property
  • No required payoff upon sale

Check out the attached fact sheet to learn more about Cook County C-PACE. [Need fact sheet]

For more information, contact Mohammed Elahi, Deputy Director, Mohammed.Elahi@cookcountyil.gov (Planning and Development)

Cook County's C-PACE program is scheduled to launch in January 2021, and is being administered by the Illinois Energy Conservation Authority NFP (IECA), an Illinois not-for-profit corporation. 

Go here to visit the IECA website for more information about C-PACE.