ENERGY FINANCE PROGRAMS
California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) creates innovative, low-cost, pooled finance programs to respond to the fiscal needs of city and county participants. The program is designed to address short-term borrowing needs, budget shortfalls, and provide access to capital for critical infrastructure improvements. City and county participants control all private activity bond issues through required local public hearings.
CSCDA offers the SUSTAINABLE ENERGY BOND PROGRAM
CSCDA and the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment are teaming together to provide public agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout California with access to tax exempt financing for critical sustainable energy investments. Under the Sustainable Energy Bond Program, participating entities and organizations will contract with an Energy Service Company (ESCO) to complete energy and water conservation measures. Improvements could include street lighting, building lighting, pumps, HVAC, system controls, boilers, chillers, ducting, windows, partial roofing, toilets and others. The program participants will receive substantial utility cost savings, including a contractual guarantee sufficient to cover the full cost of all retrofit work. All projects are financed through tax exempt bonds.
CaliforniaFIRST is a multi-jurisdiction Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that provides the size and standardization to catalyze an active, secure energy retrofit marketplace. PACE is a financing tool that allows property owners to secure upfront funding for energy and water-saving improvements, which they repay through a voluntary contractual assessment lien on their property tax bill. The first phase of the program currently includes 14 counties and over 120 cities representing a population of over 10.5M and is aligned with the best practices of the nation’s foremost PACE programs. The Program operates on very similar terms to PACE programs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, providing a common set of rules for contractors, mortgage lenders and private capital providers.
Although originally designed to provide both residential and commercial financing, CaliforniaFIRST has been adapted to focus solely on commercial properties, avoiding the regulatory issues and legal risks surrounding residential PACE programs. Commercial properties include multifamily buildings with 5 or more units, industrial, retail, agricultural and commercial properties. When the regulatory environment improves, the Program plans to expand to include residential financing.