10/17/2022: Click HERE to read Governor JB Pritzker's Press Release

ILLINOIS FINANCE AUTHORITY PACE PROGRAM LAUNCHED FOR BENEFIT OF STATEWIDE, OPEN MARKET

The Illinois Finance Authority (“IFA”) has standardized the structure, implementation, and delivery of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) financing in Illinois to assist for-profit and not-for-profit record owners of property that, from time to time, may voluntarily request the levy of special assessments to secure the financing or refinancing, or interim financing, of PACE Projects.

The Illinois Finance Authority PACE Program is designed to accelerate private investment in PACE Projects affixed to existing and newly constructed commercial, industrial, non-residential agricultural, and multi-family (5 or more units) properties, in each case up to 25% of the value of the property. Eligible improvements generally include fixtures, products, systems, equipment, devices, and materials intended for energy efficiency, renewable energy, resiliency, or water use; electric vehicle charging stations are eligible improvements too. C-PACE financing is non-recourse to the record owner and assignable upon transfer of the property. Moreover, C-PACE financing does not accelerate upon a default (payment or otherwise), permits terms of up to 40 years, and allows financing of up to 100% of all project and closing costs.

Contact Brad Fletcher (bfletcher@il-fa.com) to discuss prospective PACE Projects and the applicable county or municipality establishing the Illinois Finance Authority PACE Program to impose the levy of the voluntarily requested special assessments that will secure the financing or refinancing, or interim financing, of such PACE Projects by IFA.

INDEPENDENT, NEUTRAL ADMINISTRATOR

Each county and municipality that establishes the nonpartisan, nonpolitical Illinois Finance Authority PACE Program is participating in a statewide, open market of PACE areas administered by the C-PACE Open Market Initiative as the independent, neutral program administrator, referred to as the PACE Area Administrator. The C-PACE Open Market Initiative is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation and component unit of IFA. The PACE Area Administrator, among other things, acts as a liaison to each participating county and municipality and its residents, taxpayers, and other interested persons.

Record owners, meanwhile, are afforded the opportunity to work with capital providers of their own choosing as PACE Project Administrators and to assemble the team of professionals desired for any potential PACE Project (e.g., architects, engineers, energy auditors, appraisers, contractors, bond counsel, trustees, title companies). The Illinois Finance Authority PACE Program allows capital providers to not only originate C-PACE financings in a statewide, open market sponsored by an independent, neutral program administrator but also allows capital providers to administer and service PACE Projects for their own account or others of their choosing, with their own resources, and within appropriate guidelines. Capital providers facilitate access to capital directly or through affiliates in the capacity of PACE Project Administrators by performing marketing, establishing processes for contractors, statutory underwriting, processing applications, billing and collecting, and enforcement.

FEWER FEES

The goals of the C-PACE Open Market Initiative are to spur investment in energy efficiency and water conservation, and to stimulate growth of renewable energy and resilient building design throughout Illinois. Services of the PACE Area Administrator are free of charge. This feature eliminates the additional program administration fees otherwise charged by affiliates of competing capital providers or other third parties that have secured or will endeavor to secure an exclusive role as program administrator for a county or municipality. Record owners benefit from lower C-PACE financing costs amid the resulting fairness and competition among capital providers, at no cost to each participating county or municipality.

UNIFORM FINANCING

C-PACE financing to fund PACE Projects occurs through the issuance of conduit debt obligations (such as bonds or notes), similar to other special assessment financing programs in Illinois. As a statewide conduit issuer of bonds and notes, IFA's uniform C-PACE financing documents for all PACE Projects simplifies due diligence in the asset-backed securities market for capital providers in contrast to a fragmented market of numerous issuers of conduit debt obligations throughout Illinois.

IFA has statewide authorization to issue bonds and notes to fund PACE Projects located in any PACE area, thus doing away with any issuance of bonds or notes by the applicable county or municipality. In turn, each participating county and municipality enjoys the benefit of not incurring any related conduit debt compliance or accounting obligations. The simplification of a single conduit issuer with statewide authorization to fund PACE Projects attracts capital providers that desire a standardized, efficient, and affordable way to facilitate access to capital for record owners, further reducing legal and financing costs for such record owners.

RESERVATION OF RIGHTS

Under the Illinois Finance Authority PACE Program, each participating county and municipality always retains its prerogatives as set forth in the PACE Act and the form of PACE Ordinance provided below, including the right to establish other property assessed clean energy programs and to issue its own bonds or notes under such other programs.

Program Category: 
Bond Programs