The Top 20 State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency Programs

Justifying investment and installation of energy efficiency improvements can be hard, but the top state incentives for renewables and efficiency programs can make justification much easier. To help you find the best programs, consider these programs for key regions in the U.S.

Program Name


Eligible Buildings


Sustainable Energy Trust Fund


Industrial, municipal, cooperative, and education and institutional facilities.

ENERGY STAR Upgrades, Lighting Improvements, Net Metering, Renewable-Energy Use

Proposition 39 (The California Clean Energy Jobs Act)


Local Educational Agencies, e.g., county offices of education, school districts, charter schools and state special schools.

Energy efficiency improvements, the creation of an energy management program and expansion of renewable energy generation in schools.

School Facility Program Modernization Grants



The Modernization Grants provide a 60% stimulus to enhance educational facilities’ AC, plumbing, electrical and lighting systems.

State Buildings Energy Conservation Bond Program


Schools and all buildings owned by the state.

Provides financing for energy improvement projects on state-owned buildings. Potential projects include lighting and building controls to HVAC system upgrades. This program is built for buildings of 20-years old or older or those that have seen a 20% increase in energy costs in the last five years.

Energy Smart Schools Program


Public schools and institutions of higher learning.

Incentives under this program are $0.05 per kWh for the first year. Pre-authorization is required by applying to tap into the incentives. Also, there is not a limit on the total value of incentive payments, except for reaching the project's total cost or until funds run out for the calendar year.

SB 1149 Schools Program



Schools may receive funds determined by the type of project, including geothermal electricity generation, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, hydroelectric and Municipal solid waste. Funds are dispersed annually based on school district needs and energy efficiency improvements through a 3% surcharge on all electric revenues throughout the state.

Green Building Standards for Public Buildings


Schools and all public buildings.

A regulatory policy requiring compliance with the International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE standards to receive funding from state appropriations.  

Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design in New School Construction



This program is not necessarily an incentive in the literal sense, but as regulatory policy, new school rankings (Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum) are awarded, opening the door to energy performance contracting and additional funding by the state.

Coldwater Board of Public Utilities - Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Commercial, Federal Government properties, and schools.

Reduces project cost by up to 50%, depending on type. Lighting and HVAC controls vary widely.

Computer controls up to $10 per PC.

Variable Frequency Drives up to $60/HP.

AC and Heat Pump rebates of $6 - $8 per ton.

Chiller incentives of $30 per ton.

Lighting Discount Program


Commercial, schools, government-funded buildings, institutional facilities.

Access to discounted rates for ten packages of LEDs per customer of a Wisconsin utility service provider participating in the Lighting Discount Program.

Score Program by El Paso Electric Company


Commercial, construction, industrial, Local and  State Government-funded buildings, institutional facilities, nonprofits, and schools.

The program offers rebates of $240/kW saved during peak electric demand through energy efficiency audits and improvements to reduce state-wide peak demand for electricity.  

Midwest Energy (Gas and Electric) How$mart Energy Efficiency Finance Program


Commercial, residential and government-owned or funded buildings within the Midwest Energy Service Area.  

Provides a means of financing energy efficiency improvements, following an energy audit by a Midwest Energy Specialist. Finance terms range from lighting at seven years to geothermal loops at 30 years.

Delaware Electric Cooperative - Green Energy Program Incentives


Commercial, local and state governments, institutional facilities, agricultural centers, and schools.  

Rebates in the form of $0.50 for the first 5kW, $0.20 for 6+kW in savings, but $1.05 per kW and $0.52 per kW in rebates for respective kW values for non-profits, including schools. Solar improvements and fuel cell installations are eligible for a 20% reimbursement, and geothermal heat pumps can incur rebates of up to $800 per ton.

Efficiency Maine Trust - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resource Fund


Commercial, local government, nonprofit, residential, schools and institutional facilities.

The program provides funding for renewable energy upgrades for any technologies. Funding is determined through application processes and obtained through public contributions.

Norwich Public Utilities - Zero Percent Financing Program


Commercial, nonprofit, and State and Federal Government-funded buildings within the city of Norwich.

Provides financing at 0% interest for custom and standard energy efficiency upgrades. All applications to the program must submit proof of positive cost-benefit and payback in five years or less. Although a third-party lender facilitates the funds, all payments are managed by Norwich Public Utilities.

Eversource - New Equipment & Construction Schools Program


Local governments and schools only.

This program provides a financial incentive for the installation of lighting and lighting control systems, which varies, EC motors with an incentive of $75 each, VFDs maxed out at $1,850, ACs of up to $165/ton, geothermal heat pumps and many other types of HVAC upgrades.

Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant - Residential and Non-Profit Weatherization Program


Nonprofit facilities, including those operating to benefit school districts, and residential units.

Customers of the Taunton Municipal Light Plan can recoup up to $500 or 50% of an energy efficiency improvement’s total cost, whichever is less. Eligible improvements include the installation of new equipment, duct, and AC sealing and insulation, among others.

Local Option – Multi-State PACE Financing for CA, VA, NM, MD, OK, TX, VT, WI, OH, OR, NV, IL, NC, NY, FL, HI, ME, GA, MO, NH, MA, MI, WY, CT, AR, RI, KY, & NE.


Program applicable to nonprofits, institutions, and public buildings, including schools.

This program provides funding for energy efficiency improvements or new construction as defined by each state. Since the criteria and repayment vary significantly, the easiest way to determine savings/ incentives is to check here, click on “Apply Filter,” select filter by type, and select the “PACE Financing” box.

Renewable Energy Trust Fund


Schools, Local and State Governments, nonprofits, municipal utilities, cooperative utilities and commercial.

The program provides funding for a host of renewable energy investments, ranging from geothermal to fuel cells. The maximum payment for contracts under this program is $5 million for all contracts, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center determines awards.

Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program


Commercial, construction, industrial, nonprofits, residential, schools, and institutional facilities.

Incentives within this program are for the upgrade or installation of solar water heat or biomass systems or up to $0.80/kWh/year. Additional incentives include a $3,000 incentive for wood pellet heating and up to $10.00/MBH thermal storage tank adder installation. Public-serving entities, such as schools and public buildings, can access a maximum of $95,000 based on the amount of energy saved or generated. Moreover, all installs must be by registered Vermont Partners.

If your state wasn’t on this list, don’t fret. Cenergistic may be able to help you locate an appropriate funding source. Contact Cenergistic or by calling 1-855-792-7779 to get started with the search for the right funding source for your organization today.


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