A Colorado company specializing in special events audio, video, and lighting is embarking on a project that will see the installation of LED lighting, a new solar photovoltaic system, and roof upgrades in its Arvada-based office.
In a statement, Matt Emerson, the president of CEAVCO, said the new energy-focused upgrades have been a long time coming.
“We’ve been in business for more than 50 years, and while we’re primarily focused on making our clients look good, we knew the time had come to take care of some in-house maintenance issues,” said Emerson.
The upgrading to the company’s nearly 34,000 square foot facility, continued Emerson, will have the end result of making CEAVCO’s location “more comfortable for our employees and tenants,” while lowering the company’s energy costs and reducing its carbon footprint.
The project has come about as a result of an innovative effort called the Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, otherwise known as C-PACE.
“We’re really a financing mechanism for everything from renewable energy projects to water improvements and new heating and cooling systems,” says Tracy Phillips, the director of the C-PACE program.
Launched in early 2016, C-PACE makes it possible to finance energy efficiency and water conservation projects, among other things, undertaken by the owners of commercial and industrial buildings throughout the Centennial State.
“There are two sides to it,” explains Phillips.
“One is the Colorado Energy Office, which is the sponsoring agency and the ones who got the legislation passed, allowing them to develop the program,” he says.
The second side comes with the existence of a company called Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, which is based in Trumbull, Connecticut and partners with state and local governments nationally to administer private commercial property clean energy programs.
“We’re the program administrators,” explains Phillips, “which means that we handle all the promotion and marketing and training, as well as getting projects put together, quality assurance, and all that kind of thing.”
Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, spearheading more than $130 million of energy upgrade efforts nationally, additionally has programs similar to the one it is administering in Colorado in California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia.
Its services are not available to just the owners of buildings, but also contractors, mortgage holders, and capital providers.
There are obviously, admits Phillips, many pieces to any given C-PACE project.
“But we try to not make it seem too complicated,” he remarks. “At the end of the day you need to get the building owner on board first, and then of course the contractors who are doing the work, and then, because it’s an assessment on the property, a mortgage lender.”
“And then there’s the financing piece, getting the actual capital provider to provide the financing,” Phillips continues.
The Colorado program, which to date has taken on some two dozen projects in the state with a financing value of $21 million, has proven to be remarkably active. Almost every week comes news of a new energy upgrade project coordinated by C-PACE.
In late June came the announcement that the Lafayette-based CSI Construction was investing in energy efficiency upgrades at two of its properties in the 2100 block of South Blackhawk Street.
Those improvements included the installation of LED lighting in both tenant and common spaces. This $113,000 project was designed and implemented by Next Step Energy Solutions, which has offices in Littleton, and funded through Greenworks Lending, a provider of commercial financing for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy projects nationally.
Earlier this month, Unique Woodworking took on a series of energy upgrades at its nearly 76,000 square foot facility at 4101 E. 48th Avenue in Denver that were made possible through the C-PACE program.
Those upgrades for a company known for its high-quality cabinetry and architectural millwork, included an upgraded electrical system, insulated garage doors, and LED lighting.
The owner of Unique Woodworking, Bret Kaup, in a C-PACE press release, noting that his company regularly invests in state-of-the-art machinery and software, said he was particularly pleased to be lowering greenhouse gas emissions while also “enjoying positive cash flows to our business through the resulting energy savings.”
Additional good news was seen in the mid-August announcement that the Denver-based Lever Energy Capital is launching a $500 million fund dedicated to funding C-PACE programs.
Meanwhile, Phillips lauds the priorities of the Colorado Energy Office for its sponsorship of the C-PACE program, noting, “They are very open when new technologies and new ideas come along; they entertain a lot of different ways to use this financing.”
But he also acknowledges that the C-PACE office itself is doing what it can to get the word of its services out to Colorado’s commercial and industrial sectors: “We are trying to be fairly aggressive in terms of getting this established as a tool,” Phillips says, “because the potential is fairly unlimited.”
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