Rhode Island Follows Connecticut’s Footsteps
The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) has officially launched the state’s C-PACE program. RIIB, Rhode Island’s Green Bank, has followed the Connecticut Green Bank’s successful model of using a centralized statewide PACE administrator.
The numbers prove the success of the centralized commercial PACE administration model. Connecticut’s C-PACE program has closed $115 million in transactions through Q1 2016, accounting for nearly half of the entire national commercial PACE market. CT’s model has achieved this success despite Connecticut having only 1% of the national population.
Key Benefits of Statewide PACE Administrator
In following this single statewide PACE administrator model, Rhode Island will enjoy two key benefits:
- Consistency across the state
- Local governments avoid the burden of PACE administration
A single statewide administrator plays a very important role in facilitating consistency across many aspects of a PACE program. An administrator can promote consistency in program rules, underwriting criteria, project eligibility, consumer protection standards, collections and accounting systems, application processes, forms and documentation. This kind of standardization is vital for transforming the PACE market—consistency across projects and geographies reduces transaction costs and makes investments more attractive to private investors. The result is more private capital flows into the state’s PACE market.
A single statewide administrator can also help ensure the success of the PACE program by relieving local governments of the various burdens associated with administering a PACE program. Statewide PACE administrators can interface with local governments, help them set up collection and accounting systems for the PACE financing, and serve as a central point of contact and information for capital providers, contractors, and property owners that want to participate in the PACE program.
In following the statewide PACE administration model that was pioneered in Connecticut, RIIB has engineered its PACE program for success.
Rhode Island C-PACE Picking Up Steam
Rhode Island’s C-PACE program allows owners of eligible commercial and industrial buildings to finance up to 100% of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements, and repay those loans on property tax bills.
RIIB has contracted with Sustainable Real Estate Solutions to administer the program. The C-PACE program has an open capital platform, meaning any lender can participate and make loans through RIIB’s C-PACE structure. Long-term financing through RIIB’s C-PACE will enable building owners to make deep, multi-measure retrofits with long payback periods, where the term of financing matches the life of the measure (up to 25 years).
Out of the state’s 39 municipalities, seven municipalities are already participating in this statewide program, and seven more are discussing participation.