Charles County is the latest county to pass an ordinance enabling commercial property owners to take advantage of Maryland’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE provides property owners an opportunity to finance energy efficiency improvements to their properties and pay off the debt through a surcharge on their property tax bill. Twelve counties currently have authorized PACE programs.
PACE is a government policy based on the principle that commercial energy projects – such as installing solar equipment or improving a building’s heat recovery system – are public benefits like sewers, roads, and bridges. PACE authorizes counties to work with private capital providers to provide upfront financing to commercial property owners for qualifying improvement projects, and to collect the repayment through annual or semi-annual surcharges on the property’s tax bill.
By lowering that property’s energy expenses, PACE makes the building more inviting to tenants and, consequently, more valuable. And with PACE, there are no upfront costs: PACE pays for 100% of a project and is repaid by the surcharge over a 20-year period. Moreover, the owner can sell the property, treat any expense as operational, and pass on costs to tenants.
The Charles County Economic Development Department will be hosting a series of upcoming informational sessions targeted to commercial property owners, contractors, and capital providers. For more information on how to get involved with Charles’ PACE program, contact Marcia Keeth at KeethM@MeetCharlesCounty.com. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.