GreenFinanceSF – Commercial (PACE)

What is it:

The City of San Francisco in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative and the San Francisco Department of the Environment recently launched the new GreenFinanceSF-Commercial program. This initiative is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that provides access to new forms of financing for commercial building owners. The program utilizes the “open market” PACE program, enabling the property owner to hire a contractor for implementation of an energy efficient retrofit while private investors compete to provide funding for the project. The goal of the GreenFinanceSF initiative is to reduce the corporate carbon emissions within San Francisco, as well as create jobs and conserve energy.

Commercial property owners interested in energy-efficient retrofitting to their building can access more information via the Energy Upgrade California webpage.

How does it work:

The GreenFinanceSF program has been established to address the principle barrier for property owners trying to green their buildings—financing. By providing new sources of capital for building owners, the initial financial burden associated with a project is reduced and spread across a longer payment period. Repayment of the cost is secured through a special tax assessment levied on the property and repaid through the property tax bill. This tax assessment stays with the property, rather than the owner, and can extend up to 20 years on the “payback” of the project. GreenFinanceSF is a progressive step in advancing important City policy objectives. Additionally, this initiative has been constructed under the guise of promoting savings for property owners committed to energy efficient buildings and adding value to retrofitted properties. The City of San Francisco has authorized up to $100 million of financing for this energy efficiency initiative.

Additional aspects of GreenFinanceSF:

To ensure fiscal efficiency of the program all eligible properties must be in good financial standing with prospective retrofitting projects meeting established standards set forth within the program guidelines. The Clinton Climate Initiative helped to develop GreenFinanceSF and structure the aspect of “open market” contract negotiations between property owners, who look for financing opportunities, and investors who are willing to provide financial assistance. The Clinton Climate Initiative also assists to ensure a broader leverage of private capital for energy efficient investments. The goal is to develop a sustainable model for building retrofit markets that can be implemented across multiple metropolitan areas.

To learn more, visit the GreenFinanceSF website.