Reading, PA — The Berks County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution Thursday, Oct. 22, to establish a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program to facilitate financing of clean energy and energy efficiency projects and encourage economic development. Local commercial property owners can utilize the C-PACE program to obtain low-cost, long-term financing to complete energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy projects.
The Berks County C-PACE Program will be administered by PP&L Sustainable Energy Fund, Inc., a non-profit organization that focuses on promoting, researching and investing in clean and renewable energy practices and projects. C-PACE financing can be used for existing and new construction of commercial, agricultural, industrial and non-profit properties. The program makes it easier for property owners to make major energy efficient improvements to their existing properties and encourages investing in rehabilitating older buildings.
“The Berks County C-PACE Program will help promote the adaptable reuse and rehabilitation of existing buildings here in Berks, while increasing sustainability and energy savings,” said Pamela Shupp Menet, Deputy CAO and Economic Development Director. “By offering this financing method to property owners, we can attract even more economic development to the County.”
Individual property owners can voluntarily sign up to use C-PACE by developing a project and repayment terms with a private capital provider. The County would then facilitate the repayment of energy efficiency financing as an additional line item on the property tax bill. If the owner sells the building, the C-PACE assessment would transfer to the new owner, like other property taxes.
The team behind Alvernia University’s CollegeTowne project in downtown Reading is expected to be one of the first in Berks to utilize this new financing opportunity. “Alvernia sees the C-PACE program as an important component of funding a vibrant and energy efficient downtown as CollegeTowne goes into a number of new redevelopment projects,” Alvernia President John R. Loyack said.
C-PACE was established in Pennsylvania in 2018 and is currently in 36 states. Berks will be the 12th county in Pennsylvania to establish a C-PACE program. For more information about the C-PACE program throughout the state, please visit www.PennsylvaniaCPACE.org. To learn more about the Berks County C-PACE Program, please contact Pamela Shupp Menet, Deputy CAO and Economic Development Director, at 610-478-6136, ext. 6114 or [email protected].