Getting Ready for PACE in New Jersey (Part 6)*

In Part 5 of this series, we described the opportunity, available to the top one-third of New Jersey municipalities by population, to establish their own local C-PACE programs. This post describes the application process, fees, and a few other details.

Choosing to establish a local C-PACE program requires the municipality to submit an application to NJEDA consisting of the following:

(1) the proposed local C-PACE program ordinance conforming to the NJEDA guidelines as eventually published;

“(2) acknowledgement that the authorized municipality or, in the case of a local C-PACE program established by a county, any participating municipality located in that county, shall use the uniform assessment documents prepared by the authority; and

(3) the authorized municipality’s or county’s proposed program guidelines.”

The latter may not be less restrictive than the NJEDA guidelines.

NJEDA’s review shall be limited to confirming that the proposed program adheres to the authority’s guidelines. If the authority fails to approve or disapprove the program within 60 days, it shall be deemed approved, and the municipality or county may proceed to adopt the ordinance. If the authority disapproves the application it must provide a detailed explanation, and the municipality shall be entitled to present a revised application.

Once the local program is approved, NJEDA shall have the authority to continuously monitor the program to ensure the continuing compliance with the requirements. As long as this is deemed satisfactory, the NJEDA shall not review or approve individual C-PACE projects submitted to the local program but will deal only with projects submitted to the state program.

Any changes to the local program will also require NJEDA approval before they can be implemented.

NJEDA may charge a one-time fee to the municipality of no more than $5,000 to review and approve the local program. It may also charge a fee to property owners for reviewing and approving individual projects, “reflect[ing] the reasonable and actual costs of the review or fulfillment of any obligations that the authority may undertake.”

Municipalities may also “charge the property owner an annual fee for the billing, collecting, and remitting of the C-PACE assessment. The fee shall reflect the reasonable and actual cost of the billing, collecting, and remitting of the annual amounts due for the C-PACE assessment.”

(Series continues…)

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*This is a layperson’s interpretation of the statute and should not be construed as legal advice or relied upon without consulting a qualified attorney.

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