Communication Specialist III
New program offers innovative financing mechanism to promote commercial building sustainability and efficiency.
EVERETT, Wash., December 27, 2022 – Yesterday, Snohomish County Department of Conservation & Natural Resources’ Office of Energy and Sustainability launched the Commercial Property Clean Energy & Resiliency (C-PACER) Program.
This new program provides a financial tool for commercial property owners to obtain low-cost financing for energy efficiency, natural disaster and resiliency upgrades that carry with the life of the property instead of the property owner. The C-PACER program supports the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in line with Snohomish County Joint Resolution 19-006 that committed to a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045.
“C-PACER has been a proven way to cut back on energy consumption, saving money, while also preparing our community for the next natural disaster,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “Since we already have a similar program serving residential property, this was the next step in our efforts to make the County more resilient and bring our energy consumption down. This is good for our businesses and our environment.”
Snohomish County Council unanimously passed Ordinance 21-097 on December 15, 2022 to create the program. The C-PACER program guide with full qualifications and eligibility is available online.
“One way we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change is through incentivizing green building and energy conservation. I was excited to co-sponsor this legislation and work with community members to also address resiliency and natural disasters,” Snohomish County Council-Chair Megan Dunn said. “With the program launched and the manual finalized, I look forward to seeing future projects completed.”
“The C-PACER program is one step to help improve our environment and promote green building in Snohomish County,” Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring said. “I appreciate the partnership it took to get this program off the ground.”
“I believe strongly in the protection of our environment and natural resources and am happy to see the C-PACER program available to commercial property owners in Snohomish County,” Snohomish County Councilmember Strom Peterson said. “This is strong step forward to promote green building in Snohomish County.”
The C-PACER program creates a mechanism for capital providers, such as banks or credit unions, to offer low-interest financing for commercial property improvements that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, increase renewable energy, promote water conservation, and encourage resiliency. Examples of qualifying projects include electric vehicle charging infrastructure, seismic retrofits, flood mitigation improvements, fire detection and suppression, energy storage, and more. Properties must be located within incorporated or unincorporated Snohomish County and must be privately-owned commercial, industrial, or agricultural property or multifamily residential property with five or more dwelling units. The program fee covers the cost of program implementation and operation, and the Auditor’s Office fee for recording the Closing Documents on the property title.
In 2020 the Washington State Legislature passed HB 2405, which created the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACER) Program, codified in Chapter 36.165 Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Chapter 36.165 RCW authorizes the state of Washington and its counties to establish C-PACER programs.
The Snohomish County Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) includes the Division of Surface Water Management; the Division of Parks and Recreation; the Office of Energy and Sustainability and the Office of Agriculture. DCNR works in support of thriving communities; a clean and healthy environment to foster environmental stewardship; ensuring food security; supporting a green economy, and strengthening communities by providing regional parks and infrastructure; protecting the region's water, air, land and natural habitats; enhancing agriculture and recreation; and reducing flooding. https://snohomishcountywa.gov/5758.