Virginia Coastal Policy Center
 

Abstract

When discussing how to combat problems caused by climate change and rising sea levels, the focus is often on developing and using alternative sources of clean energy. However, while slowing climate change is a worthy goal, it is too late to prevent climate change impacts in many areas in Virginia. Vulnerable flood zones all over the state are already being inundated with periodic flooding. This flooding causes extensive damage to commercial structures in the area. For example, it is estimated that Hurricane Florence alone caused between $200 million and $1 billion in flood damage in Virginia. Commercial property owners can mitigate the damage caused by flooding by building structures or modifying existing structures to better withstand flooding and more effectively manage storm water. However, building or modifying a structure to be flood resilient is often too costly of an endeavor for many commercial property owners to undertake without some sort of assistance. In 2019, Virginia’s state code regarding C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing programs, was amended to allow for resilience measures, including flood mitigation and storm water management, to qualify for funding, offering a solution to this problem. This paper provides a brief overview of C-PACE program development in Virginia, a survey of some resiliency measures that can be used to mitigate commercial property damage caused by flooding, an example of resiliency measures in action, and recommendations for further promotion of C-PACE financing in Virginia.

This abstract has been taken from the authors' introduction.

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