Kent, Sussex counties join property assessment-based D-Pace clean energy program

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Energize Delaware reports that Kent and Sussex counties have recently joined New Castle County as partners in the Delaware Property Assessed Clean Energy (D-PACE) program.

D-PACE is a managed initiative that allows commercial and industrial property owners to finance energy-efficient and clean energy projects that will lead to energy cost savings. Projects that qualify under the statewide program will be financed through a voluntary assessment on property tax bills similar to a sewer or other benefit assessment.

D-PACE in Delaware uses private capital to finance all projects; no taxpayer dollars will be used for financing. With the recent addition of Kent and Sussex, this benefit is now available to every commercial or industrial business in the state.

Background information is available at www.delawarecpace.org.

“Kent County is pleased to become a participating county in the D-PACE Program as we work in partnership with Energize Delaware to promote clean energy alternatives and improvements to commercial buildings in Central Delaware,” said Kent County Administrator Michael Petit de Mange. “Enabling businesses to make clean and sustainable energy choices in a way that is manageable and affordable is good for business, good for the environment, and promotes community health and well-being,” added Petit de Mange.

“This is a great step for the commercial and industrial sectors here in Sussex County, and one more tool to advance economic development and strengthen Delaware’s economy,” said William Pfaff, economic development director for Sussex County. “Certainly, the past year has been a challenging economic period for all of us, especially businesses. By endorsing programs such as D-PACE, the county becomes a more attractive place to do business, giving investors a competitive edge in lowering their energy costs. While that saves them money that can be infused back into the economy in other forms, it also means more energy-efficient buildings.”

D-PACE is designed to help commercial, industrial, agricultural, nonprofit, and multifamily (with five or more units) property owners access long-term financing for the installation of qualifying energy improvements. Such improvements may include any construction, renovation, or retrofitting of energy-efficient technology, clean energy systems, or qualifying waste heat recovery technologies that are permanently fixed to qualifying commercial property.

D-PACE financing is provided by private capital providers in an open market. The financing is secured through a voluntary benefit assessment and an assignable lien that is levied against the owner’s property.

The financing term is based on the useful life of the improvements and can extend up to 25 years. The financing can cover up to 100 percent of a building’s project cost and often requires no money down. In many cases, the project’s annual energy savings will outweigh the annual D-PACE payments, which creates positive cash flow for the owner.

Since starting the D-PACE program in New Castle county in 2019, a total of $6.9 million in two separate financing deals have been granted to businesses.

“We have worked hard for a number of years to develop the PACE program for Delaware. It is very rewarding to now be able to say this is a statewide endeavor,” said Tony DePrima, executive director for Energize Delaware. “The result is a program that will allow each county to participate without adding a substantial administrative burden and makes it easy for interested business owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. We welcome the Kent and Sussex administrations in rounding out Delaware’s full county involvement.”

Energize Delaware is a non-profit that helps Delawareans save money through clean energy and energy efficiency. Further information is available at www.EnergizeDelaware.org.

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