Other Financing & Incentive Programs

DSIRE Database

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of federal, state and some local incentives. Go to this page and filter by Maryland/Non-Residential/Business to find all current information about incentives for renewables and efficiency programs. Detailed information is provided directly by the jurisdiction offering the incentive.

State Incentives & Programs

Renewable Energy
  • Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program (CEGP) - Provides grants for renewable energy projects such as photo voltaic (PV) systems, solar water heating, geothermal, small wind. $500-$75,000 loan amounts based on type of project. No set program expiration.
  • Utility Commercial & Industrial Programs - Provided by each utility: Allegheny Power, BGE, Delmarva Power, PEPCO, SMECO. Up to 80 percent rebate on improvement costs for utility customers. No set program expiration.
Renewable Energy - Agricultural
Energy Efficiency - Agricultural

Utility Rebate Programs

Local Incentives & Programs

Federal Incentives & Programs

Listings reflect information collected via public listings of federal incentive programs for commercial energy efficiency and renewable power projects.

Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)

This incentive program is open to commercial, industrial, and agricultural projects. Applicable technologies include: solar water heat, space heat, thermal electric, hybrid lighting, thermal process heat and photovoltaics; landfill gas and municipal solid waste; small wind (100kW or less); biomass; geothermal electric, heat pumps, and direct-use; fuel cells and fuel cells using renewable fuels; CHP/cogeneration; anaerobic digestion; and microturbines. The program expires on 12/31/2012 (50% bonus depreciation).

Under the federal MACRS, businesses may recover investments in certain property through depreciation deductions. The MACRS establishes a set of class lives for various types of property, ranging from three to 50 years, over which the property may be depreciated. A number of renewable energy technologies are classified as five-year property (26 USC § 168(e)(3)(B)(vi)) under the MACRS, which refers to 26 USC § 48(a)(3)(A), often known as the energy investment tax credit or ITC to define eligible property. The provision which defines ITC technologies as eligible also adds the general term "wind" as an eligible technology, extending the five-year schedule to large wind facilities as well.

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)   

This incentive program is open to commercial, industrial, utility, and agricultural projects. Applicable technologies include: solar water heat, space heat, thermal electric, hybrid lighting, thermal process heat, and photovoltaics; wind; biomass; geothermal electric, heat pumps, and direct-use; fuel cells and fuel cells using renewable fuels; CHP/cogeneration; and microturbines.

The federal business energy investment tax credit available under 26 USC § 48 was expanded significantly by the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424), enacted in October 2008. This law extended the duration -- by eight years -- of the existing credits for solar energy, fuel cells and microturbines; increased the credit amount for fuel cells; established new credits for small wind-energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, and combined heat and power (CHP) systems; allowed utilities to use the credits; and allowed taxpayers to take the credit against the alternative minimum tax (AMT), subject to certain limitations. The credit was further expanded by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, enacted in February 2009.

Credits vary by technology: 30 percent for solar, fuel cells and small wind (Small wind turbines placed in service 10/4/08 - 12/31/08: $4,000, Small wind turbines placed in service after 12/31/08: no limit), 10 percent for geothermal, microturbines and CHP, $1,500 per fuel cell 0.5 kW, and $200 per microturbine kW.

USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program

This incentive program is open to commercial, residential, nonprofit, local government, state government, and tribal government projects. Applicable technologies include: electric generation, transmission, and distribution facilities; natural gas or petroleum storage or distribution facilities; renewable energy facilities used for on-grid or off-grid electric power generation, water or space heating, or process heating and power; backup up or emergency power generation or energy storage equipment; and weatherization of residential and community property, or other energy efficiency or conservation programs.

The program is offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on an ongoing basis for the improvement of energy generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in rural communities. Eligibility is limited to projects in communities that have energy costs at least 275% above the national average. Individuals, non-profits, commercial entities, state and local governments, and tribal governments are eligible for this grant. Individuals must work on a project that will benefit the community in order to qualify. Grant values range from $75,000 to $5 million.

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants

This incentive program is open to commercial, school, state/local/tribal government, rural electric cooperative, agricultural, institutional, and public power entity projects.

The program is offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy for agricultural producers and rural small businesses through the use of (1) grants and loan guarantees for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems, and (2) grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Grant amounts vary but cannot exceed 25 percent of total project cost. $70 million total has been allocated for this program in FY 2012. In addition to mandatory funding levels, there may also be discretionary funding issued each year.

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs)

This incentive program is open to state, local, and tribal governments. Applicable technologies include: solar thermal electric and photovoltaics; wind; biomass; geothermal electric; municipal solid waste, anaerobic digestion, and landfill gas; CHP/cogeneration; and hydroelectric, hydrokinetic, tidal energy, wave energy, and ocean thermal.

QECBs are issued by the federal government and may be used by state, local and tribal governments to finance certain types of energy projects. QECBs are qualified tax credit bonds, and in this respect are similar to new Clean Renewable Energy Bonds or CREBs. February 2009 legislation set a limit of $3.2 billion on the volume of energy conservation tax credit bonds that may be issued by state and local governments. In April 2009, the IRS issued Notice 2009-29 providing interim guidance on how the program will operate and how the bond volume will be allocated. Subsequently, H.R. 2847 enacted in March 2010 introduced an option allowing issuers of QECBs and New CREBs to recoup part of the interest they pay on a qualified bond through a direct subsidy from the Department of Treasury. Guidance from the IRS on this option was issued in April 2010 under Notice 2010-35.

U.S. Department of Energy - Loan Guarantee Program  

This incentive program is open to commercial, industrial, nonprofit, school, state and local government, agricultural, institutional, non-federal entity, and manufacturing facility projects. Applicable technologies include: solar thermal electric, thermal process heat, daylighting, and photovoltaics; wind; geothermal electric; hydroelectric, tidal energy, wave energy, and ocean thermal; fuel cells and fuel cells using renewable fuels; and biodiesel.

The U.S. DOE is authorized to issue loan guarantees for projects that "avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases; and employ new or significantly improved technologies as compared to commercial technologies in service in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued." The loan guarantee program has been authorized to offer more than $10 billion in loan guarantees for energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced transmission and distribution projects.

Loan amounts vary, but the program focuses on projects with total project costs over $25 million.