On May 19, 2019, the New York City Council passed a series of groundbreaking bills collectively referred to as the Climate Mobilization Act or the “CMA.” The goal of the CMA is to reduce New York City greenhouse gas emissions 80% by year 2050. The bills passed were designed to achieve this lofty goal in part by placing a statutory cap on greenhouse gas emissions, requiring green roofs, and making it easier to build large wind turbines. One of the most significant CMA bills was Int. 1252-A, now known as Local Law 96 of 2019, enabling Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in New York City for the first time. Although PACE programs are available for both residential and commercial properties, this article will focus on commercial PACE financing.

PACE financing is an innovative method of financing that enables property owners to obtain funding for certain eligible energy efficient building improvements often referred to as “qualified improvements.” Common examples of eligible qualified improvements are new HVAC systems, new doors and windows, lighting, insulation, and solar panels. Borrowers (owners) are able to obtain 100% financing of the cost of Qualified Improvements, which is amortized over the course of the useful life of the Qualified Improvement, at a fixed competitive interest rate.