Budgeting on The Path to Zero for Net-zero Funding and Commercial Energy Upgrades

Funding commercial energy upgrades can be a big commitment and a little funding can go a long way. We put together this simple guide to help you maximize your almighty dollar and make the Path to Zero easy for local businesses. Here are a few simple and effective ways to bolster your energy budget: 

Stacking Incentives

If your home or business is in Pitkin or Eagle counties within the Roaring Fork Valley, you can stack utility rebates and CORE incentives for up to 50% of your energy project funding. Looking for a new heat pump and run a business in Aspen? If the heat pump is your primary source of heat, CORE will provide a rebate of up to $2,500 and City of Aspen Electric will put up another $2,500. That’s $5,000 off your new heat pump right off the bat!

BONUS: CORE has custom commercial rebates up to $25,000 for inspirational and impactful projects.  

Check out these resources for more info on rebates and incentives: 

Mike Boucher, Lead Engineer at the Snowmass Club
Mike Boucher, facility manager for The Snowmass Club, was able to use CORE’s rebates to upgrade to LED lighting and save the club over $3,500 per year. Read his story here. PC: Daniel Bayer Photography

Grants

For big and innovative projects apply for a grant. CORE’s variety of grant options cover nearly every type of energy upgrade, especially when they inspire others to take action. We invite any business, nonprofit, school, multifamily property, or government to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis all year-’round, so dream big and let CORE help bring that dream to life.  

No matter what type of organization you represent, CORE has you covered when it comes to funding commercial energy upgrades.

Ryan Honey, Executive Director at TACAW, was able to use a CORE Grant to support their goal of being the first net zero performing arts center in Colorado. Read TACAW’s story here. PC Daniel Bayer Photography

Financing 

Sometimes you need a loan for the biggest projects, but did you know that building or renovating with energy efficiency in mind can get you more favorable terms?

Check out these carbon-cutting loan options: 

C-PACE

Did you know you can finance up to 100% of your commercial energy upgrade with C-PACE? The Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE) matches businesses with private capital providers to provide low-interest loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects – check here for eligibility requirements.

Assessment and Repayment

C-PACE financing repayment is facilitated through the County property tax assessment process. A voluntary assessment (similar to a sewer district assessment) is placed on the building owner’s property tax bill. The assessment is repaid over the financing term (up to 25 years) and the annual energy cost savings will, in most cases, exceed the annual assessment payment, thereby enabling capital-intensive equipment upgrades. Because the C-PACE assessment obligation runs with the property, the assessment can transfer to the next owner when the property is sold.

Fees

A fee equal to 2.5% of the project finance amount (not to exceed $50,000 per project) is assigned to each C-PACE project. This program administration fee, to cover the costs associated with the various support services required to sustain the C-PACE program, is typically included in the total financed amount and is only due when successful project financing is obtained.

Additional Financing Opportunities

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Tax Credits

Tax credits can subsidize the cost of energy retrofits, big time. There are state and federal credits available for all sorts of commercial energy upgrades from installing renewable energy systems to installing electric vehicle chargers. A perfect place to start is the DSIRE. It’s a one-stop-shop with all of your options. Just punch in your zip code and you are off and running.

Looking for a good starting point? Check this out – At the beginning of 2021, the 179D commercial buildings energy efficiency tax deduction was made permanent. The tax deduction primarily enables building owners to claim a tax deduction for installing qualifying systems and buildings, while tenants may be eligible if they make construction expenditures.

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We want to make a carbon-free future as easy as possible. If you don’t know where to start, call CORE and schedule an energy assessment or advising session. We’ll help you every step of the way from planning your project to reaping the rewards of your completed project. Funding commercial energy upgrades can be tricky but you’ll get it done right with CORE in your corner.