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3/4/2014 - Fairfield Promotes Energy Saving Opportunities for Commercial Property Owners
First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that the Town of Fairfield sponsored a business-to-business event regarding the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. The event, which was hosted by the Bigelow Tea Company on February 25, 2014, featured speakers from the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority—Connecticut’s green bank, which administers the state program, Bigelow’s CEO Cindi Bigelow and Plant Manager Jim Guildea, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Board of Finance Chairman Tom Flynn, and Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart.

A detailed case study was presented by Fairfield businessman, Peter Corbett, who made $1 million in clean energy improvements to the InSports Center in Trumbull. Through C-PACE, the project was cash flow positive from the beginning, saving InSports over $8,000 a year and approximately 7 million kilowatt hours over the life of the project. With about 30 attendees overall, the event was attended by representatives from over a dozen Fairfield businesses including some of Fairfield most prominent: General Electric, Kleban Properties and Fischel Properties.

Improving energy efficiency has a clear business appeal in achieving cost savings and promoting environmental quality. But such projects can be expensive, and financing them can present formidable challenges. “We focus on keeping Fairfield the best value for business owners,” stated First Selectman Mike Tetreau. “C-PACE is a program for businesses, which Fairfield adopted last year. We are happy to be able to help Fairfield’s businesses become more efficient through
The Town of Fairfield is one of about 80 Connecticut towns that have chosen to participate in C-PACE so far, and similar programs are springing up across the nation. C-PACE is an innovative program geared to help commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners obtain affordable, long-term financing for a range of smart energy upgrades such as high-efficiency lighting, HVAC upgrades, envelope improvements, and renewable energy systems.

C-PACE in a Nutshell: Qualifying energy projects receive 100 percent up-front, private capital financing, with fixed repayments becoming a voluntary assessment added to the business’s property tax bill. Capital is secured by a lien on the property that automatically transfers to a new owner, if any. Access to affordable capital is available through C-PACE because of the secure payment stream and senior position of the lien.

Property owners can benefit by:

• Financing improvements without incurring additional debt, preserving capital and credit lines;
• Passing payments (and energy savings) along to tenants under typical leases; and
• Achieving lower operating costs, improved asset value, and a better indoor environment for tenants.

Projects financed through C-PACE are required to be cash-flow positive, meaning that the savings from the energy improvements must exceed the additional property tax assessment. Fairfield and other participating towns will benefit because energy upgrades create a competitive setting for attracting and retaining businesses. Energy upgrades create jobs and improve our environment and our quality of life.

“We are thrilled to see C-PACE demand growing here in Fairfield,” stated Jessica Bailey, Director of C-PACE for CEFIA. “This partnership will continue to provide benefits to Fairfield businesses seeking to take control and ultimately reduce their energy costs---providing long-lasting and local energy, environmental and economic development benefits.”

Interested property owners can find additional information about the C-PACE program and an initial application at www.c-pace.com or by contacting the team at c-pace@ctcleanenergy.com