Commercial - Property Assessed Clean Energy & Resiliency                 (C-PACER) Program

What is C-PACER?

C-PACER is an alternative loan program that allows owners of eligible commercial properties to seek long-term financing from a private capital provider for qualified improvements related to energy & building resiliency. 

  • C-PACER was authorized through WA State Legislature under HB-2405 and codified in RCW Chapter 36.165.
  • On July 13, 2021, the Whatcom County Council adopted Ordinance 2021-041 (AB2021-370) establishing a Whatcom County C-PACER program codified under Whatcom County Code Chapter 16.50.
  • C-PACER loans are tied to the property (not the owner) through an annual property assessment managed by a third party capital provider. C-PACER loans run with the land, and are transferrable upon sale of the property.
  • Commercial buildings are a large source of greenhouse gases and the C-PACER program is an incentive to achieve our communities goals as stated in the Climate Action Plan.
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Qualified Improvements:

In general, the following are examples of Qualified Improvements eligible for C-PACER financing; see Guidebook for more details:

Energy Efficiency:

  • HVAC System
  • Replacement Lighting Fixtures
  • Building Insulation Upgrades
  • Energy Efficient Appliances

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Renewable Energy:

  • Solar Panels
  • Geothermal heating system

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Water Conservation:

  • Replacement of lead water pipes, install of low-flow fixtures & repair for leaking system
  • Water-smart landscaping, sprinkler & irrigation systems
  • Energy Efficient Appliances 

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Resiliency:

  • Seismic retrofits
  • Wet & Dry flood proofing
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Energy storage system

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Qualified Properties:

In general the following types of properties are eligible for C-PACER financing. See Guidebook for more details:

Commercial

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Industrial

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Agricultural

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Multi-Family (5+ units)

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Program Benefits: 

Information provided by shiftZERO C-PACER Implementation FAQ:

"For Building Owners

With C-PACER financing, there is little cash outlay and the debt lien is filed against the property, not the owner. That debt obligation stays with the property whenever ownership transfers. The debt doesn’t appear on the owner’s balance sheet, and it does not encumber the owners’ credit capacity. Hence, owners find these kinds of loans attractive for long-term efficiency and resilience improvements.

For Tenants

Building tenants are the ones typically paying the utility bills (either directly or through rent), occupying uncomfortable spaces, and facing any health and safety risks. Giving the building owners an easier way to pay for these kinds of improvements is a benefit to tenants.

For the Public

C-PACER financing programs are a type of public-private partnership that make it attractive for building owners to pursue deep efficiency and resilience improvements that are in the public interest. Highly energy and water efficient buildings reduce environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions. Lower energy and water consumption also reduces the need for production and delivery infrastructure, the costs for which are ultimately borne by ratepayers. Further, seismic, fire protection, and other safety-related resilience improvements increase public safety and ultimately mitigate publicly funded emergency response expense."

Contact Uswc_logo_footer_80w

Whatcom County Planning & Development Services

Administrative Office
5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, WA 98226
Map (GIF)
Phone: 360-778-5931 Email the Department

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