by Karyn M. Charvat, Executive Director, PowerForward DuPage

Do you have commercial clients looking for a new tool to help them save money on energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint?   Earlier this year, the DuPage County Board approved a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing program, making DuPage County one of the first counties in Illinois to launch a commercial real estate C-PACE program. The Illinois Energy Conservation Authority NFP (IECA) has been selected as the county’s program administrator and was formed out of a commitment to bring C-PACE program administration to the Chicagoland area.

What is C-PACE? C-PACE is a tremendous financial tool for commercial property owners and developers as it provides low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects for commercial properties. The financing is repaid as an assessment on a commercial property’s tax bill over a set number of years not exceeding the useful life of the project. PACE financing is currently available in 36 states, in Washington, D.C., and now here in DuPage County.

This new program provides a win-win for the area’s commercial property and building owners, as well as for local government, as it incentivizes property renovation and reinvestment in aging commercial structures. With C-PACE, owners can fund property improvement projects with little or no out-of-pocket costs and local municipalities benefit because it encourages new investment and creates jobs within their communities.

What types of improvements are eligible? Projects that are eligible for C-PACE financing are ones that make commercial properties more energy efficient, such as HVAC upgrades, roofing projects, building controls, solar/wind initiatives, LED retrofits, water conservation, and insulation projects.

What is PowerForward DuPage’s role in this new initiative? Representing over 400 of the county’s most highly sought-after electrical contractors, PowerForward DuPage is uniquely positioned to connect property and building owners to the most highly skilled and trained electrical talent in the region – contractors who can assist with any and all electrical needs during their building improvement projects safely, on time and on budget.

Where can property owners learn more about C-PACE?  PowerForward DuPage and DuPage County are hosting an educational forum Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 7-9am. Topics that will be covered are:

  • What is C-PACE funding and who can apply?
  • What are the quali­fications for the C-PACE program?
  • What are eligible Energy Projects?

Speakers include the Illinois Energy Conservation Authority NFP, ComEd and Nicor. More details about the event can be found here and for more information on the IECA and the C-PACE program, please visit