Report: Connecticut, Minnesota follow California as top C-PACE states

While it’s no surprise to anyone that California is leading the country in funding commercial solar through a property-assessed clean energy program (C-PACE), the fact that Connecticut and Minnesota are Nos. 2 and 3 on the list may.

In a report released by PACENation, California still leads the nation in C-PACE financing over the past seven years, hitting nearly $200 million mark. Connecticut follows behind with $100 million in C-PACE financing, while Minnesota is third at $41 million. The District of Columbia and Texas round out the Top 5.

Commercial PACE is a program that allows businesses to install renewable energy, make energy efficiency upgrades or some combination of the two with no upfront costs. The costs are then collected by the community through property taxes assessed on the upgraded business.

The overall numbers PACENation reported found the overall economic impact of C-PACE to be limited nationwide.

According to the report, C-PACE programs have only generated $521 million in financing for fewer than 1,200 project from 2010-2017. In addition, C-PACE has only created slightly more than 7,800 jobs in seven years.

More encouraging is the rapid increase in C-PACE financing since December 2015. Over the past two years, funding has jumped from $212 million to the current $521 million, a 146% increase in just two years. The rapid increase is expected to continue as more states pass laws allowing C-PACE programs to exist, as well as current C-PACE states expanding their educational programs to let more businesses understand the advantages of the program.

Over the past seven years, PACENation reports that 56% of C-PACE projects focused on energy efficiency, 26% on renewable energy, and 18% funded both types of projects at the same time.