City Council expands retrofit financing program

PACE program still hasn’t been implemented in the city

New York /
Mar.March 18, 2021 04:55 PM
Costa Constantinides and Corey Johnson (Getty, iStock)

Costa Constantinides and Corey Johnson (Getty, iStock)

The City Council on Thursday passed a bill that will expand a financing program aimed at helping property owners pay for building retrofits — but the program remains unavailable for now.

The bill tweaks language in a 2019 law to make new buildings eligible for a program that could help their owners comply with Local Law 97, which caps carbon emissions. The program, known as commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE), has not yet been implemented in the city; its rollout was stalled, in part, by the pandemic.

Though a 2019 law authorized the use of C-PACE in the city, officials are still working to establish rules governing the program. The measure’s sponsor, Queens Council member Costa Constantinides, indicated on Thursday that those rules are expected to be finalized by the spring. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability subsequently announced that the program should go live around April 22.

C-PACE helps cover upfront costs for clean energy technologies and is paid back over time as a special property tax assessment. More than 30 states in the country have similar programs, and New York state has a version separate from the city. Last year, the state legislature passed a bill that allowed new construction projects to apply for C-PACE.

The Council bill’s passage is welcome news for the real estate industry and C-PACE providers, but doesn’t address other concerns about building owners’ ability to comply with the emission caps laid out by Local Law 97. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget includes a workaround that would allow owners to purchase renewable energy credits generated outside the city to comply with the law. State Senate and Assembly leaders, however, do not support the proposal.

The Council also approved a measure that requires the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability to develop climate resiliency design guidelines as part of a pilot program. Those guidelines would apply to capital projects, which would need to meet a minimum climate resiliency score based on flood risk, energy efficiency, on-site water capture and management, and other metrics.

A third measure requires that most newly constructed or substantially renovated buildings in the floodplain be raised an additional one to two feet, or by the elevation required in the 500-year flood zone, depending on the building type.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Solow Building Company chairman Stefan Soloviev, CEO Michael J. Hershman and vice chairman Hayden Soloviev (Solow Residential, Fairfax, LinkedIn)
    Stefan Soloviev, Sheldon Solow’s son, reorganizes family firm
    Stefan Soloviev, Sheldon Solow’s son, reorganizes family firm
    Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross and Kara Ross (Getty)
    Stephen Ross, wife to divorce after 18 years
    Stephen Ross, wife to divorce after 18 years
    A rendering of 250 Water Street, Landmarks Preservation Commission chair Sarah Carroll and Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly (Center for Architecture, The Howard Hughes Corporation/SOM)
    Howard Hughes told to further refine Seaport tower proposal
    Howard Hughes told to further refine Seaport tower proposal
    From left: Ronald Fieldstone, Scott Meyer, Carlos Rodriguez Jr., Logan Gans, Stevan Pardo and Jaime Sturgis (Twitter, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
    Opportunity Zone investors pour in ahead of key deadlines
    Opportunity Zone investors pour in ahead of key deadlines
    Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly and 250 Water Street (The Howard Hughes Corporation/SOM)
    Critics look down on shorter 250 Water Street
    Critics look down on shorter 250 Water Street
    Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace and Greg Smithies with The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani (Getty, iStock)
    Watch: Real estate brought the planet to the brink. Can it now save it?
    Watch: Real estate brought the planet to the brink. Can it now save it?
    FEMA overhauled the National Flood Insurance Program, which will result in savings or stable premiums for most homeowners. (iStock)
    FEMA flood-insurance overhaul goes easy on homeowners
    FEMA flood-insurance overhaul goes easy on homeowners
    The soft market for luxury units has some developers hard up. (Getty)
    Buyers taking advantage of New York City’s condo glut
    Buyers taking advantage of New York City’s condo glut
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...