Resources

We’re Here to Help

Usurp Power is more than a marketplace. We’re changing the way small businesses access clean energy and power their profits. And we want you to be confident in your investment. So, whether you’re new to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing or simply want to learn more, our resources and tools below can help.

The Basics

PACE provides long-term financing for qualifying construction and renovations that improve the environmental footprint of property to save you money on utility bills with no money down. You repay funds to private lenders as a semi-annual voluntary tax, the first voluntary property tax assessment in the U.S. By using voluntary property taxes to repay funds, you and other small businesses get access to the same financing terms that large corporations benefit from, ensuring that your projects produce positive cash flow in year 1. This frees you up to spend your capital on other investment opportunities, such as opening that next location or hiring more staff.

Your options

PACE
New Mortgage
Vendor Finance
Company Cash

i Cost alignment with tenants

Addressing what is referred to as "split-incentive," PACE ensures that constructions costs and utility savings are joined to a single party.

i Cash flow positive year 1

PACE laws often mandate that utility savings must be greater than project costs, so most PACE projects result in net cash savings every year.

i Owner keeps incentives

Many projects qualify for government subsidies and incentives. Unlike some financing options, PACE allows you keep these incentives.

Sometimes

i Balance sheet neutral

PACE is collected as a property tax, so it sits with your property not with your business; and is usually not treated as a debt liability.

i No acceleration upon default

Unlike a loan, PACE does not come due in full in the event of a default

i Can be terminated upon request

You can prepay PACE at anytime; and the associated fees are usually less than the fees of other financing options.

i Transferable on sale

If you want to sell your property, but you don’t want to pay off the PACE, PACE will stay with the property and transfer to the new owner.

i No pre-pmt of first mortgage

You rarely need to pay down existing debt. PACE lenders only require that the property value be at least 5 times the cost of the project or financing

Sometimes

i Preserve borrowing capacity

Because PACE is Balance Sheet Neutral, you will have more options to invest into your business and take a loan in the future.

i Preserve internal capital

Financing projects instead of paying with earned equity or saved profits, means you can use that equity capital for investments with higher returns.

i Nonrecourse, no personal guarantee

PACE is always noncourse with no personal guarantee required, so there's less of a risk to you and your business.

i Typical terms in years

Only PACE can go up to 30 years. That means your payments will be less. But, if you prefer a shorter term, PACE will also work.

5-30
10-20
5-10
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PACE in 90 seconds

Hear From Real People

Supported by political leaders from more than 30 states, PACE has been used to create over 50,000 jobs, save 32 million metric tons of carbon (the equivalent of 8 coal fired power plants), and help over 200,000 thousand Americans fund more than $5 billion in construction and renovation projects.

Interviews

The Details

Case studies

Restaurant

Project Cost: $230,000
Income after cost: $11,100

Right Proper Brewery produces craft beer for some of the top restaurants and bars in the region. Located in an old warehouse, the brewery installed a new rooftop, a 56-kW rooftop solar PV system, and a 7-kW solar parking canopy with PACE financing.

Hardware Store

Project Cost: $396,000
Income after cost: $22,000

Annie’s ACE Hardware, a local fixture in Washington, D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood, used PACE to finance interior and exterior LED lighting, envelope improvements, a VRF system, and low-flow bathroom fixtures.

Apartment

Project Cost: $530,000
Lifetime savings: $121,900

Brittany Apartments is owned by a third-generation, family-owned real estate company. The apartment complex used PACE to upgrade its hot water boilers, hot water heaters, storage tanks, and distribution pumps.

New Construction

Project Cost: $25,000,000
Lifetime savings: over $25MM

The new DC United stadium wanted to implement money-saving green measures, which included an 884-kW solar system, high efficiency HVAC systems, LED field lighting, insulation, site stormwater conservation, a green roof, and low-flow fixtures.

Affordable Housing

Project Cost: $700,000
Income after Cost: $7,000

The Phyllis Wheatley YWCA provides 84 rental units to low-income women and was in urgent need of upgrades, including new appliances, new water fixtures, heating systems, lighting system, HVAC system, and solar.

Office

Project Cost: $2,200,000
Lifetime savings: $2,500,000

The Headquarters of the FSFSC worked with the DC PACE program to finance HVAC, windows, lighting, and new kitchen equipment as part of a gut rehab, allowing it to attract new tenants.

Publications

Commercial PACE for Affordable Multifamily Housing
2018
Energy Efficiency for All, NRDC & VEIC

Opening C&I Solar Markets with C-PACE
2017
SEIA and Alta Energy

Morningstar: Clearing the Air – Addressing misconceptions about PACE
2017
Morningstar ABS Research

Webinars

How to qualify for PACE?
What can PACE fund?
What is PACE?
Who is using PACE?

Articles

Thats WACC

That’s WACC! Cash is not free; and a cash investment is not always cheaper than a loan. The cost of money – known as the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) – tells you the cost of the cash that is currently in your bank account. The money in your bank account may have come from your company’s profits, but those profits came at a steep price. You may have spent money on marketing, operations, or overhead; some of the money you spent may have come from a loan, line of credit, an investor, or maybe even your personal savings. So, how do you know how much that cash...

read more

How Financing Could Solve Climate Change

An innovation is quietly taking hold and it is on track to make today’s environmental design best practices the status quo before the end of the decade. Already, many of the nation’s largest property owners are using it to retrofit entire portfolios, while major developers are including it in all new construction. Universities are promoting it; think tanks are validating it; and business magazines singing its praises. Available in over 37 states, it can be used to replace old appliances just as easily as it can be used to install rooftop solar. It’s called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE; and while you’ve probably seen it in the headlines, chances are that it’s not what you think it is.

read more

Futuristic Green Building Technologies You Won’t Believe

Picture an office that cleans up after itself, improves indoor air quality with nanotech-formulated paint, and responds to sunlight by magically adjusting window tint, all while fighting climate change. Then imagine entering your workspace to find your desk light on and the temperature just as you like it. Though it may sound like a scene from a fictional sci-fi movie, these innovations are already at work in some modern buildings, in the form of a networked ecosystem of “intelligent” building equipment and devices.

read more

How to get Approved for Commercial PACE Financing

Commercial PACE funds are lent to borrowers to finance construction projects that improve the operational quality of a property; they are funded by private investors and banks; they give borrowers the option to take long repayment terms, up to 25 years; and they come with unique tax advantages that often make them the cheapest capital option available. However, Commercial PACE is only available through government-sponsored programs. The rules of each program vary by state. Therefore, the application process can be very different from a traditional loan from a bank.

read more

Thats WACC

That’s WACC! Cash is not free; and a cash investment is not always cheaper than a loan. The cost of money – known as the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) – tells you the cost of the cash that is currently in your...

Read More

How Financing Could Solve Climate Change

An innovation is quietly taking hold and it is on track to make today’s environmental design best practices the status quo before the end of the decade. Already, many of the nation’s largest property owners are using it to retrofit entire portfolios, while major developers are including it in all new construction. Universities are promoting it; think tanks are validating it; and business magazines singing its praises. Available in over 37 states, it can be used to replace old appliances just as easily as it can be used to install rooftop solar. It’s called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE; and while you’ve probably seen it in the headlines, chances are that it’s not what you think it is.

Read More

Futuristic Green Building Technologies You Won’t Believe

Picture an office that cleans up after itself, improves indoor air quality with nanotech-formulated paint, and responds to sunlight by magically adjusting window tint, all while fighting climate change. Then imagine entering your workspace to find your desk light on and the temperature just as you like it. Though it may sound like a scene from a fictional sci-fi movie, these innovations are already at work in some modern buildings, in the form of a networked ecosystem of “intelligent” building equipment and devices.

Read More

How to get Approved for Commercial PACE Financing

Commercial PACE funds are lent to borrowers to finance construction projects that improve the operational quality of a property; they are funded by private investors and banks; they give borrowers the option to take long repayment terms, up to 25 years; and they come with unique tax advantages that often make them the cheapest capital option available.

However, Commercial PACE is only available through government-sponsored programs. The rules of each program vary by state. Therefore, the application process can be very different from a traditional loan from a bank.

Read More
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Resources