The NJEDA has scheduled a first Information session on the new Garden State C-PACE program for Thursday, October 20, 1-2:30 pm. Click here or the image below for the registration page.
New Jersey’s new Garden State C-PACE law (P.L. 2021, c. 201) was signed by Governor Murphy on August 24, 2021. It delegated the job of designing and administering the Program to the New Jersey Economic Development Agency (NJEDA). The draft Program guidelines have yet to be released, although they are expected sometime in the next month or so. The statute allows for an expedited adoption of the rules, but the EDA may choose the longer standard procedure method, which could take months before the rules are official.
Meanwhile, according to ROI-NJ, Governor Murphy just announced that the state is starting a Clean Buildings Working Group “that will study how to bring efficiency to one of the biggest contributors to the state’s carbon footprint.” This move is certainly to be applauded — decarbonizing buildings is much more difficult than policymakers seem to have thought, and more study is definitely warranted. But without action, the sector will continue to lag behind, and understanding the obstacles will be hampered by the lack of real experience.
Real projects are being delayed, canceled, or cut back because C-PACE financing cannot be used. We’ve been working with project developers, and where feasible looking for bridge financing in order to get the projects started, but with the uncertainty as to the launch date of the program such discussions often get bogged down.
As we say in our new White Paper, Building Local Energy Improvement Stakeholder Coalitions to Meet Climate Goals:
What’s not acceptable is to allow things to continue as they are. It has taken a lot of effort, on the part of many groups and individuals, to create state-by-state legislation and administrative frameworks for PACE. But the program will not take off on its own.
So the strategy that we are proposing involves bringing people together, at the state and local levels, to accelerate the decarbonization of commercial buildings using whatever tools and options are at hand, and push the implementation of the Garden State C-PACE Program as rapidly as possible once the guidelines are issued. This strategy is laid out, for both New Jersey and New York, in the White Paper. (To receive a copy, enter your email here.)
Meanwhile, we’re sad to report that one of our first and most forthright champions, former Governor Jim Florio, has died at the age of 85. Jim was an extraordinary individual, with many progressive accomplishments (including the Superfunds law, when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives), and a continuing dedication to the art of the possible. He was the Chair of our original Advisory Council and a good friend.
Speaking of our Advisory Council, we’ll clearly have to reconstitute it and have removed the page listing its original members, along with a number of other pages with content that is now obsolete. Our own role has evolved in several directions we had not exactly anticipated, though it remains consistent with our mission as advocates, organizers, and facilitators. In the early days, during the Christie Administration, we fully expected to have to be the (or an) administrator, since the state’s role was largely nonexistent. The Murphy Administration, by contrast, has centralized the administration within the state’s economic development authority. Fortunately, since the administrator’s role is a thankless one, and usually unprofitable in the best of times.
As a result, we’re free to return to being evangelists, advocates, and educators of the many different stakeholders — including municipalities, professionals, and trusted advisors — who need to be involved in any successful effort to use PACE to overcome the obstacles to cleaning up our built environment. If you think that we can help you or your organization, please contact us.
We’re available to assist individuals and organizations at all levels, principally on a voluntary donation basis. For some activities, we charge consulting fees; but you are welcome to make a donation in lieu of any fee.