The business experts at Forbes magazine have discovered CollectiveSun, and they’re impressed by what they’ve found. Discussing our past successes with TERI, Inc. – and our current plans to keep the ball rolling –  this excellent article by Forbes contributor Anne Field explains how CollectiveSun is working with nonprofits and investors to provide clean, stable energy solutions and a brighter future for communities as a whole.

Small nonprofits have a notoriously hard time financing solar power projects. Now CollectiveSun, a San Diego-based startup, has a plan for making it easier to find funding,” says Field. That plan hinges on a variation of the latest financing craze: crowdfunding. By presenting the opportunity for a large group of investors to participate, with investments ranging from $25 to over $10,000, CollectiveSun has crafted a unique way for all kinds of people to get involved with nonprofits in their communities.

About half of the investment is paid back after the first year, since Barken expects many investors won’t be the usual suspects, but low-income people,” says Field. That’s the beauty of CollectiveSun, it provides a flexible investment structure that opens up these investment opportunities to all sorts of individuals – not just those with large amounts of disposable income.

CollectiveSun’s primary focus is on the community and providing ways for all members of a community to get involved with their local nonprofits. Nonprofits are an important cornerstone of every community. By encouraging engagement and investment in nonprofits, CollectiveSun aims to keep these incredibly important building blocks of our communities strong and thriving for decades to come.

C-PACE financing is not available in every state. As with rooftop solar policies, the situation can vary considerably depending on state-level legislation.

That could change because US Department of Energy is very much in favor of C-PACE as a matter of national policy. That’s interesting because the President has been vociferous in his support for coal-sourced electricity, while C-PACE aims in exactly the opposite direction.

Nevertheless, earlier this year the Energy Department issued a report optimistically titled, Lessons in Commercial Leadership: The Path from Legislation to Launch. The goal is clear:

Lessons in C-PACE Leadership aims to fast track the set-up of commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) programs for state and local governments by capturing the lessons learned from leaders.”

The Energy Department singles out Texas, Connecticut, and California among the nation’s C-PACE leaders.
The agency is also interested in promoting R-PACE for residential properties. The challenges for rooftop solar financing are different in the residential sector, but there is also a major new opportunity in R-PACE:

A PACE assessment is a debt of property, meaning the debt is tied to the property as opposed to the property owner(s)…This can address a key disincentive to investing in energy improvements because many property owners are hesitant to make property improvements if they think they may not stay in the property long enough for the resulting savings to cover the upfront costs.

Consider that the average US resident moves more that ten times in their lifespan, and you can see where the limitations of PPAs come in. If the rooftop solar financing is attached to a person’s utility bills, they would likely move before they realize any significant benefit. PACE closes that gap and incentivizes energy upgrades regardless of how long (or short) a person owns the property.

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