Frequently Asked Questions


What is DC Green Bank?

DC Green Bank is a financial institution that lends money to various constituencies to meet the District’s sustainability goals. DC Green Bank mobilizes private investment to provide gap financing, remove up-front costs, and maximize the impact of public investments in carbon neutrality, climate resiliency, and inclusive economic and job growth.

What type of financial institution is DC Green Bank?

DC Green Bank is an investment bank. We seek to be the go-to financing resource for District residents, small business owners, and commercial developers interested in energy efficiency improvements, clean energy installations, and green infrastructure construction.

Does DC Green Bank service customers like a commercial or “real” bank?

DC Green Bank does not operate as a commercial or consumer bank – meaning, we do not offer traditional checking or savings accounts. Our focus is financing sustainability investments in the District.

How is DC Green Bank funded?

DC Green Bank is an instrumentality of the DC Government, meaning our initial funding is granted by the DC Government. The District of Columbia Green Finance Authority Establishment Act of 2018 created DC Green Bank, and we are working towards self-sufficiency.

What are the objectives of DC Green Bank?

DC Green Bank aims to:
Invest in clean infrastructure, the deployment of clean technologies, and energy efficiency upgrades.

Maximize the impact and benefit to DC residents of public funds by leveraging and encouraging private investment alongside our financing.

Develop and launch financial tools that increase capacity, accelerate lending, address financing gaps, and reduce upfront costs.
Drive innovation to create equitable access to credits for sustainable technologies, eliminating the vestiges of historical and systemic barriers to credit access in DC’s communities.

What kinds of projects does DC Green Bank fund?

Initially, we are focused on funding solar power systems, transportation electrification, energy efficiency for buildings, and stormwater resilience projects.

We are also accepting proposals through our Open RFP program to fund additional innovative clean energy and energy efficiency projects in the District.

Does DC Green Bank loan individuals money?

Unfortunately, we are not making loans to individuals. We are working to develop products to deliver finance to individual residents that want to do their part to install clean energy or energy efficient systems in their homes. In the meantime, we encourage you to get involved with your council members and Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) to get involved with DC Green Bank on a local level and to bring sustainable projects to your neighborhood.

How can I apply for a loan from DC Green Bank?

We have several loan products available to date. For more information and to see if you qualify, visit our “Products” page.

How can I get involved with DC Green Bank?

We are working on a variety of programs for the community and want to hear from you! Visit our “The Latest” page to learn more about our public events, register for our next board meeting, and to access other news as we continue to impact the community.

New construction projects

DC PACE allows for the use of PACE financing to fund energy and water saving improvements and related building upgrades in new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects. Contact us about the technical application required for new construction projects.

A construction project soon to be underway

Yes. Interested applicants are encouraged to seek approval from the program Administrator and close on PACE financing before starting construction. At minimum, the Property Owner should submit a Preliminary Application and receive a Letter of Preliminary Eligibility prior to beginning construction on the PACE project (or PACE-eligible project components, if PACE is to be part of a larger project). Construction may then proceed in parallel with the remainder of the PACE approval process. On a case by case basis, DC PACE may also approve new applications for projects that have already begun construction. However, property owners are advised that until an application has been submitted and approved, there is no guarantee that the project will be approved. In addition, prior to closing, there is no guarantee that a Capital Provider will provide the PACE funds.

Refinancing a completed project

PACE may be used to refinance PACE-qualifying projects under certain circumstances. Guidance for determining PACE eligibility, qualifying investments, and calculating the Savings-to-Investment ratio will all be established on a project by project basis. Please contact the Administrator early in the project development process to discuss any PACE funding for refinancing projects.

property with a long-term ground lease

The lessee of a property that is leased through a long-term ground lease, including a ground lease for a property that is owned by the District or another public entity, is eligible for PACE financing and will be treated as the property owner for PACE underwriting purposes if the following conditions are met:

  • The term of the PACE financing does not exceed the remaining term of the ground lease, and

  • There are no terms and conditions in the ground lease that would prevent the property owner from taking on a voluntary special assessment or otherwise participate in DC PACE.
  • Pace

    DCSEU & other utility incentive programs

    DC PACE is compatible with SUE rebates / incentives, many other local and federal subsidies and tax benefits, and more. Property owners are encouraged to take advantage of as many rebates and subsidies as possible, and the Administrator can help connect you to SEU resources. NOTE: The Administrator is not liable for any loss of or change to a rebate or tax credit.


    Condominiums are generally difficult to finance with PACE, as each unit is its own real estate tax parcel. There are certain situations in which PACE might work for a condo building, particularly if the condo association itself owns a portion of the real estate (such as the common areas). Contact us and we can help determine if PACE might work for your condo building.

    Religious Organizations

    PACE financing is available to all eligible building owners in the District regardless of whether the building is owned by a religious institution. DC PACE financing is available for qualifying physical improvements to the buildings of a religious institution on the same basis as for the financing of improvements to the buildings of other organizations within the District. Religious institutions are eligible to participate in District programs, including DC PACE, that are generally available to the public.

    LIHTC deals

    PACE can typically be used in the context of both 4% and 9% LIHTC transactions, a structure used in affordable housing finance. Contact us to learn more.

    Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and FHA loans

    The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance concerning the use of PACE in FHA financed or insured transactions, and will grant lender consent to conforming projects.

    Freddie Mac has indicated the ability to finance PACE properties but have not issued formal guidance as of yet. It is historically challenging to achieve lender consent on properties with Fannie Mae financing.

    Tax-exempt bond financing

    DC PACE can be integrated into a larger tax-exempt revenue bond financed projects, to provide an additional source of proceeds beyond the revenue bond debt, and displace other capital contribution requirements. See the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative project in Anacostia for a case study.

    PACE may also be available at tax-exempt rates on a standalone basis for qualifying projects.

    Is my property eligible for DC PACE?

    Most commercial buildings in the District are eligible for DC PACE. This includes retail / office, institutional, or industrial real estate, and most types of multifamily housing. Properties owner by non-profits that do not pay real estate taxes are still eligible for PACE. Both retrofits and new construction may be eligible.

    To learn more, review our program guidelines, or fill out a short form with basic information about your property and we’ll get back to you.

    What kinds of projects are eligible for DC PACE?

    In addition to measures that directly reduce utility costs or add renewable generating capacity, DC PACE can finance measures that are substantially related to or necessary for the installation of energy and water conservation measures (e.g. a new roof to support a solar installation). DC PACE can finance up to 100% of eligible projects, including both hard and soft costs.

    For more information, view our program guidelines, or contact us to see if your project is eligible.

    What project sizes are eligible for DC PACE?

    Typically, the minimum size for a PACE project is $100,000, though smaller projects focused on a single measure are also eligible. There is no maximum size.

    How does DC PACE financing work?

    Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) can provide 100% financing for energy and water saving upgrades in commercial real estate and multi-family housing in Washington, DC. PACE financing is secured by a voluntary property tax assessment. The assessment is simply repaid on your property tax bill, much like other tax assessments routinely used to finance infrastructure upgrades.

    How do I apply for PACE?

    Get started with a simple online eligibility check, and we’ll get back to you with next steps.

    What are typical terms for a PACE assessment?

    Typically, PACE is 15 or 20-year fully amortizing financing. Rates may be fixed or adjusting depending on your selected capital provider.

    Who funds DC PACE projects?

    DC PACE connects property owners with 100% private financing from a range of local and regional banks as well as PACE-specific lenders and other lending institutions.

    Can I work with my own contractor for a PACE project?

    Yes. Select either a DC PACE-registered contractor or work with your preferred vendor to develop and implement a qualifying project.

    What is lender consent?

    In order for a PACE assessments to be placed as agreements in the tax record, consent of any banks holding outstanding mortgage liens on the property is required. Because PACE projects typically improve cash-flow and increase the value of the property, there is a proven track record for securing lender consent nationally.

    Will PACE put a mortgage or deed of trust on my property?

    PACE financing is secured by a voluntary property tax assessment, and a memorandum of the assessment (not a deed of trust) will be recorded at closing. The assessment is simply repaid on your property tax bill, much like other tax assessments routinely used to finance infrastructure upgrades. Like with real estate taxes, a lien is only created in the case of a delinquency.

    Can PACE be considered off balance sheet?

    While the ultimate decision about how to treat PACE should be made by your accountant, there is precedent for treating PACE as off-balance-sheet financing. PACE is not traditional mortgage debt, but instead is a semi-annual special assessment obligation taken on by a property owner. Like with real estate taxes, it is non-accelerating, and in the case of delinquency or default, only missed payments and penalties (future payments due not become due). In addition, PACE is tied to the property, not the borrower, and in most cases the payment obligation simply transfers to a new owner upon sale of the property.