On Tuesday, March 19th, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) program in Fairfax County, Virginia. With this ordinance, Fairfax County becomes the fourth jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt C-PACE. Loudon County passed its C-PACE ordinance on February 21st, 2019. The City of Fredericksburg and Arlington County have also passed C-PACE enabling legislation, with Arlington County being the first jurisdiction in the Commonwealth to establish a fully functional C-PACE program.

Loudon and Fairfax Counties are now in the process of developing Responses for Proposal for a third-party program administrator who will administer the respective programs with oversight from the local county governments. Once a program administrator is selected, the counties will finalize their programs’ core documents and procedures, at which point they will be able to begin approving their first C-PACE projects.

It is not only the local governments that have been active during this period. The Virginia House and Senate have both recently approved Senate Bills 1400 and 1559. The bills amend the existing C-PACE statute to add resiliency and stormwater management measures to the list of eligible property enhancements. Furthermore, Senate Bill 1559 clarifies that the current statute’s cap on C-PACE financing refers to the entire program, and only if public funds are used for the financing. Otherwise, in the case of private financing, the cap refers to a total project cap. It is expected that the governor will sign these amendments, in which case they will take effect on July 1, 2019.

The C-PACE statute in Maryland does not provide for the financing of resiliency measures. However, with a similarly extensive coastline, Maryland should observe Virginia’s C-PACE program with great interest. Virginia’s program will be one of the first case studies in the country for the incorporation of coastal resiliency measures. The inclusion of resiliency measures in C-PACE programs elsewhere (still not common) have tended towards seismic resiliency, particularly in California.

For more information on C-PACE in Virginia, click on the links below:

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council

“C-PACE Momentum is Building”

Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash