Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate FAQs
The Program is an administrator for PACE programs that utilizes the expertise and resources of Counterpointe Energy Solutions in a focused effort to provide a nationwide funding platform. The Program provides up to 100% financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and wind/seismic retrofits for property owners.
The Program financing is repaid through your property tax bill and collected with your regular property taxes as non-ad valorem assessment.
You will see an additional line item on your property tax bill for your scheduled payment. First payment may be deferred for up to 2 years by capitalizing interest.
If you have your taxes escrowed by your mortgage lender, the bank will adjust your monthly payment to include the amount due for the financing.
The Program is available in numerous communities nationwide with more coming every day. Visit the Our Communities page to see full listing or apply now to check eligibility button of the initial application form to see if the Program is available in your area. If the Program is not yet available in your community, you may email our Government Relations Department who will work with you to bring our program to your area. Most commercial property types are eligible including retail, office, hotel and multfamily buildings. If done by property owner, new construction may be considered for financing. Previously completed projects may also be eligible for financing.
- The Property taxes must be current in all states. Some states require no delinquency or only one delinquency in the last 3 years.
- All mortgage related debt plus the Program financing may not exceed 100% of the value of the property.
- The Property Owner must be current on their mortgage at the time of the application without any delinquencies of more than 30 days in the past 12 months or since the property owner acquired the property, whichever is shorter.
The Property must not be subject to outstanding involuntary liens such mechanics or municipal nuisance liens.
- The Property owner must not have declared bankruptcy in the last 7 years and property must not be subject to an active bankruptcy.
- Some jurisdictions require lender consent be obtained.
- Property with possible environmental risks may require additional evaluation before applications are accepted.
Project Costs must be within industry cost guidelines and can include both the cost of the Eligible or Qualifying Products and the installation costs. Products must be permanently affixed to the property.
Installation costs may include, but are not limited to the cost of and fees for energy, water and similar audits, appraisals, labor, designs, drawings, engineering services, building permit fees, surveys, inspections, materials required in connection with the installation of the Eligible Products and technical reviews.
Project Costs also include the cost of pre-paid warranties and service contracts for repairs and maintenance.
Apply via our website to provide contact and basic property information. The property will be screened for eligibility and then a representative will contact you with further information about the Program and will answer your questions. At this point, owners may decide to proceed with application or place on hold as they continue planning the improvements. Time needed for financing depends upon jurisdiction and project, but generally requires 14-60 days. Owners may receive financial approval for a maximum possible assessment and then place application on hold for up to 10 months to allow time to select contractor and to finish the planning process. Further extension may be requested.
Brokers or others with multiple properties may email a spreadsheet or list of property addresses for assistance with the application process.
Improvements related to the installation of renewable energy and energy efficiency products. Some jurisdictions include some risk mitigation improvements (flood, wind, seismic), water conservation or other enivronmental hazard mitigation
See the Products page for a listing of eligible products and improvements.
Examples of project types include but are not limited to:
- Energy efficiency equipment, such as HVAC, windows, doors, building envelope, green or cool roofs, meters, elevators, pools and control systems
- Renewable energy or alternative energy sources, such as solar systems, wind power and storage systems
- Tenant enhancements, such as LEED or WELL certification improvements
- In California, seismic strengthening improvements are eligible as well as water conservation measures, such as irrigation control, artificial turf and low flow fixtures.
- In Florida, wind resistance improvements such as upgrades to roof or installation of impact window, doors and shutters
- In Rhode Island, some environmental hazard improvements may be financed
Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate works with owner associations (OA) for retrofits involving common areas. There is no cost to the OA and funds are paid directly to the OA for eligible improvements in the common area retrofit. Unit owners may include additional projects to their individual units in the financing. Only PACE eligible improvements, the related work to these improvements and the soft costs may be financed.
Please note that for TIC and other properties with one property tax statement, all unit owners must participate in the Program. Minimum Assessment Amount is $100,000 to $150,000- please contact us for specific information about minimum for these properties. Note that Minimum Assessment Amount is not minimum project amount as design, engineering, permit, inspections, closing and financing costs may be included in the assessment.
For condominium or other properties where each unit owner receives a property tax statement, all unit owners do not need to participate in the Program. Application should be first made through the Owners' Association to determine eligibility of the project and planned improvements. Seismic retrofits are eligible improvements and unit owners may apply to the program without owners' association. All other common area improvements first require approval of the planned improvements as eligible for financing.
Owners' Association submits planned improvements, estimated costs and estimated cost per unit to the Program. The Program requires a minimum assessment amount for each unit. If the application from the Owners' Association (OA) is accepted, the OA must sign agreement with the Program before individual owners apply for financing if owner's association is to receive disbursements.
Once the application from the Owner's Association and the project has received approval from the Program, the individual unit owners may submit applications via www.CounterpointeSRE.com for individual financial approval. Applications for individual owners will not be accepted until the project has been approved by the Program with the exception of seismic retrofit. The Program requires a minimum assessment amount for each unit. For each unit owners that wish to participate in the Program, the Program requires an application and financial approval. Once the unit owners have received financial approval, the Program will proceed to closing the Assessments and advance funds to the Owner Association if desired by the unit owner. No funds can be disbursed until the Assessments have been closed, which the Program usually close prior to the start of construction. For condominiums, each unit requires a separate assessment.
Owners' Associations should contact us for more information on this Program.
Assessment may qualify as an operating expense thereby preserving capital and credit lines for investment. PACE enhances property value without ROI limitations.
Energy projects can deliver net positve annual cash flows to owners or tenants in first year after project completion. Projects with a savings to investment ratio greater than one are cash flow positive.
Optimized building cap stack with potential for off-balance sheet treatment. PACE improves cash flows of the property through utility savings and lower capital costs than both equity and mezzanine debt.
No acceleration clauses
- The financing is self amortizing ( no balloon payment) with terms that match the useful life of the improvement.
- Fixed interest rates up to 30 years
- Similar to a non ad-valorem tax, the regular payments are collected along with the normal real estate taxes on your tax cycle.
- 100% financing of project, including all soft costs such as permits, inspections and design fees
- Closing costs can be capitalized
- Maturities between 5-30 years up to the estimated useful life of the improvement
- Prepayment is not required upon sale or refinancing of the property
- May qualify for off balance sheet treatment
- Non-ad valorem assessment for tax purposes
The Program is available only for improvements to be made to a property. Previously completed projects may be considered subject to statutory restrictions.
New construction may be eligible for the Program if done by property owner. Please call us to discuss your project and the portions that may be eligible for Program financing.
Unlike other construction loans, the Program financing offers 100% of the cost of the improvement including development soft costs, the cost of the product , installations and other approved ancillary costs. The Program offers low fixed interest rates and financing terms up to 30 years. Repayments are made through your property taxes and in case the property is sold, the remaining assessment can be passed to the new property owner.
Registration process is a quick and easy process.
To become an Eligible Registered Professional :
- Apply online. You will be contacted with registration materials and Program requirements.
- Submit signed Registered Professionals Agreement and other required documentation as requested. You will be notified once they are reviewed and approved.
- Once approved, you will receive Program overview with process and procedures
- To maintain eligibility, you must comply with the Program Requirements for Registered Professionals
The Program eligible professionals must meet the following Minimum Requirements:
- Possess all valid licenses, certifications and registrations (federal, state, and local) legally required to make the Qualifying Improvement(s).
- Professionals who are not required to be licensed are eligible for the Program. Please submit online application or contact us for further details.
- License must be active and not on probationary status
- Maintain the appropriate insurance coverage for work to be performed
- Satisfy workers' compensation requirements
- Satisfy other federal, state and local requirements associated with the Qualifying Improvement(s)
In addition, specialized improvements such as solar installation, flood mitigation or seismic retrofits may require additional certifications, licenses or training.
Brokers, Manufacturers and other commercial real estate professionals may wish to register with the program to have access to state of the art web accounts that allow access to resources of the Program. Please contact us to explore partnering with our Program.
Commercial Real Estate professionals, project developers, manufacturers and others may benefit from the resources of our Program. Please contact us for partnership opportunities.
Some contractors and engineers may qualify as Elite Registered Professionals- please see Elite Professionals page of this website for more information.
Registered Professionals are eligible to work on the Program funded projects.
Along with leads and co-branding, another benefit to becoming a benefit with the Program is that your business will be included in lists provided to property owners who request eligible professionals in their area.
You may also work with our Marketing Department to showcase your business to property owners through their web accounts.
Repayments are made through your property taxes and in case the property is sold, the remaining assessment can be passed to the new property owner. The Program offers financing terms up to 30 years at low fixed interest rates. Please see Seismic Retrofit section of this website for links to information about rent passthrough. Unlike other construction loans, the Program offers 100% of the Seismic retrofit including permits, inspections, engineering plans and other soft costs of construction.
The Program is not limited to the soft story portion of your building.
You can finance other energy efficiency, renewable generation or water conservation improvements.
For buildings that are subject to mandatory structural retrofit, there may be opportunities for adding dwelling units during the seismic retrofit. For example, in San Francisco buildings with five or more existing units, you may add as many ADUs as fit and meet all planning and building code controls. For buildings that have four existing Dwelling Units or fewer, one ADU is permitted. The Zoning Administrator may grant an Accessory Dwelling Unit a complete or partial waiver of the density limits and parking, rear yard, exposure or open space standards of Building Code for buildings undergoing a simultaneous mandatory seismic retrofit. In addition, you may raise the building up to three feet to create ground floor ceiling heights suitable for residential use and maintain eligibility to enter condo-conversion programs, if such programs become available in the future.
Please contact us for questions about the eligibility of other planned improvements.
The Program will finance 100% of the seismic retrofit project, not just the structural steel or other hardening measure but all related work for the design. For example, if an electrical panel must be moved in order to properly locate a steel beam, the entire cost of the electrical work and new materials would be covered.
The Seismic Retrofit Program can be used to finance a condo association retrofit. Mixed use buildings or 4 family buildings may also be eligible.
Residential buildings of less than 4 units are PACE eligible, but not eligible for financing for seismic strengthening improvements.
We understand that Sesimic Retrofits require planning, permits and coordination with contractors and tenants. Applications may be placed on hold at any time during the process.
Early application determines eligibility of the property and allows our representatives to answer your questions. The next step is to receive financial approval and then technical approval of the project.
Submission of all the required documents for underwriting allows you to receive financial approval up to a maximum assessment amount. If time elapses between financial approval and closing, you will be required to submit latest version of the documents required for underwriting, such as updated rent rolls and financials. Mortgages may need to reverified at closing. Appraisals are generally accepted for up to 12 months.
Engineering plans require evaluation by a sesimic engineer and your contractor's proposal is to be submitted for PACE approval of costs and products. Unless there are changes to your plans or proposal while your application is on hold, technical approval of your project does not need to be repeated.
Please contact us for more information.
Apply via our website to provide contact and basic property information. A representative will determine the eligibility of your property and then contact you to answer questions and to provide further information about the Program.
The Program will finance 100% of the costs for Green or Living Roofs in eligible jurisdictions. All design, engineering, permits and installation costs may be included in the financing of the installation. Related costs may also be included such as stairway or elevator access. Other energy efficiency or program eligible improvements may be included with the financing of the green roof installation which allows property owners to install solar panels, to upgrade mechanicals or to perform other deferred maintenance. Please see Program eligible improvements for partial list of other eligible improvements. Some green wall installations may be also financed if they involve building envelope and improve energy efficiency to required specifications.
All improvements installed must be permanent improvements. Green roof installations that are not permanent are not eligible for financing. The Program requires that professionals involved in green roof installation demonstrate expertise or specialized training in green roofs.
Prepaid warranty, service or maintenance contracts are 100% eligible for financing. The program requires a maintenance plan, but contract is not required to be included in the financing.
One of the unique benefits of the Program for green roofs is that the 100% financing with long term, fixed rate payments help property owners preserve capital. First payment may be deferred for up to 2 years and is repaid through property taxes, which allows property owner to pass through costs to tenants or to hotel guests if green tax is permitted. Property owners retain these all tax rebates or other incentives. Cost of financing is less than equity and mezzanine debt and is a lower cost option in the capital stack for financing larger commercial projects-please contact us for more information.
Some states require the improvements to have a savings to investment ratio greater than one, a performance guarantee or other performance measurements. Please contact our representative to learn more about requirements for your property's location.
The Program is committed to our cities and can help city planners reduce heat island effect, improve air quality and manage stormwater by providing our Program to property owners in their city. The Program has partnered with San Francisco to provide financing to support city planning programs. Please contact our government department for more information about private public partnership information.
The Program can provide 100% financing on all types of wind resistance improvements, including, but not limited to:
- Strengthening the roof deck attachment
- Creating a secondary water barrier to prevent water intrusion
- Installing storm shutters
- Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections
- Impact windows and doors
The Program was formed by local governments for local governments with the special purpose to provide long-term financing for structural improvements that encourage renewable generation, energy efficiency and disaster resilience (wind, flood and seismic resiliency upgrades are available in certain areas or pending legislation). The Program is an independent funding source, and any municipality may subscribe by resolution or ordinance to make this financing opportunity available in its community.