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All of Pennsylvania can take advantage of the 26%
Federal Tax Credit
, which will allow you to recoup 26% of
your equipment AND installation costs for an unlimited amount.

There may still be other local rebates from your city, county, or utility. Check below!

Pennsylvania Solar PV Rebates & Incentives

Data from DSIRE. Last updated: 10/06/2022

NameAdministratorBudgetLast UpdatedEnd DateDSIRE ID
Summary
Sustainable Development Fund Financing Program (PECO Territory)TRF Sustainable Development Fund07/20/2010/06/22498

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission created the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) in its final order of the PECO Energy electric utility restructuring proceeding. The Reinvestment Fund, Inc. (TRF), which was formed in 1985 to build wealth and opportunity for low-wealth communities and low- and moderate-income individuals, administers the SDF. The SDF later received additional funding and responsibilities as a result of the PECO Energy/Unicom merger settlement. That settlement added funding for new wind development, for solar photovoltaics and for renewable energy education, as well as a lump-sum payment and an increase in SDF's core fund. In total, the fund has received approximately $31.8 million in income over its lifetime.

The SDF provides financial assistance to eligible projects in the form of commercial debt, subordinated debt, lease financing, and energy performance contract financing. The Sustainable Development Fund provides financial assistance for the following types of ventures:

  • Companies and ventures that generate electricity using renewable energy sources;
  • Manufacturers, distributors and installers of renewable energy, advanced clean energy and energy-conserving products and technologies; and,
  • Companies and organizations that are end-users of renewable energy, advanced clean energy and energy-conserving products and technologies.

The specific terms of the financial support are flexible and are determined on a case-by-case basis. SDF also has a lease-financing product for large nonprofit institutions (schools and hospitals) and commercial real estate owners for energy conservation improvements.

The SDF Commercial Financing Program provides flexible business loans to:

  • Manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, retailers and service companies who want to finance equipment upgrades or electricity energy savings improvements to their plant/office facilities;
  • End-user companies wishing to purchase advanced clean energy systems; and
  • Start-ups and expansions of companies producing clean energy.

The SDF 2019 Annual Report to the Pennsylvanian Public Utilities Commission (PUC) contains information about past and current program activities. For more information on financing opportunities, visit the program website above.

Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Loan Program (FirstEnergy Territory)Community Foundation of the Alleghenies06/13/1810/06/22623

FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund and the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000. The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies in Johnstown, Pennsylvania administers the Penelec loan and grant components of the Fund, which has assets of approximately $9.1 million. The majority of funding available from the fund takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments. The program is open to any individual, organization, governmental entity, or corporation. Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund and Metropolitan Edison Sustainable Energy Fund share an advisory committee and are commonly referred to in the singular as the Met Ed / Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund.

The fund is designed to promote:

  • The development and use of renewable energy and clean-energy technologies;
  • Energy conservation and efficiency;
  • Sustainable-energy businesses; and
  • Projects that improve the environment in the companies' service territories, as defined by their relationship to the companies' transmission and distribution facilities.

As identified on the program web site, specific types of projects eligible for loans may include renewable electricity generation projects for on-site use or grid supply; projects involving the development of a sustainable energy technology (e.g., solar panel manufacturing); businesses that use renewable energy in the operation of a business; and businesses that enhance energy efficiency and conservation.

Examples of projects funded in the past are available on the program web site, along with details of the investment guidelines.

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)U.S. Internal Revenue Service09/06/2210/06/22658

Note: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376) made several significant changes to this tax credit, including expanding the eligible technologies, extending the expiration date, modifying the scheduled step-down in its value, providing for new bonus credits, and establishing new criteria to qualify for the full credit. It also phases out this tax credit under section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code and replaces it with a new technology-neutral tax credit under section 48E of the Internal Revenue Code. The summary below describes the current section 48 tax credit as modified by the Inflation Reduction Act, and below that, the new 48E tax credit.   

The federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been amended a number of times, most recently and most significantly by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. That bill established new prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements for larger system to qualify for the full 30% tax credit. In late-2022 or 2023, the Treasury Secretary will issue guidance for these new labor provisions. The credit for different project types and available bonus credits is described below.


Base Credit

Projects under 1 MW (or larger projects that are commenced no more than 60 days after the Treasury Secretary develops labor guidelines) do not need to meet the new labor standards established by the Inflation Reduction to receive the full 30% tax credit. Such projects that begin construction after 2021 and before 2025 can receive the full tax credit of 30%. Note, projects that commence construction on or after January 1, 2025 can receive a tax credits under the new Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit (48E) described below. 

Projects over 1 MW that begin construction 60 days after the Treasury Secretary releases labor guidelines and no later than January 1, 2025 will receive a base tax credit of 6%. However, projects can qualify for the full 30% tax credit if they ensure that all laborers and mechanics involved in the construction of the project or the maintenance of the project for 5 years after project completion are paid wages at rates not less than prevailing wages. Projects must also ensure that a percentage of total labor hours are performed by qualified apprentices. The percent of hours increases over time to a maximum requirement of 15% in 2024 and thereafter. Note, projects that commence construction on or after January 1, 2025 can receive a tax credits under the new Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit (48E) described below. 

Bonus Credits

Projects in which 100% of any steel or iron that is a component of the facility and 40% of the manufactured products that are components of the facility were produced in the United States can qualify for the Domestic Content Bonus. Projects that are under 1 MW and projects that are larger than 1 MW and meet the labor requirements specified above, the Domestic Content Bonus increases the tax credit by 10 percentage points. For larger projects that do not meet the labor requirements, the Domestic Content Bonus increases the tax credit by 2 percentage points. 

Projects that are located within an energy community can receive the Energy Community Bonus. To qualify, a facility must be located at one of the following: (i) a brownfield site, (ii) a metropolitan or non-metropolitan statistical area which (A) has (or, at any time during the period beginning after December 31, 2009, had) 0.17% or greater direct employment or 25% or greater local tax revenues related to the extraction, processing, transport, or storage of coal, oil, or natural gas, or (B) has an unemployment rate above the national average for the previous year, or (iii) a census tract or a census tract that is adjoining a census tract in which a coal mine has closed after 1999 or a coal-fired electric generating unit was retired after 2009. Projects that are under 1 MW and projects that are larger than 1 MW and meet the labor requirements specified above, the Energy Community Bonus increases the tax credit by 10 percentage points. For larger projects that do not meet the labor requirements, the Energy Community Bonus increases the tax credit by 2 percentage points. Note, these percentage bonuses are applied to the base credit amount, not the installed cost of the project. 

Solar and wind facilities less than 5 MW may also be eligible for low-income bonuses. A project built in a low-income community as defined by the New Markets Tax Credit or on Indian Land can receive an increased tax credit of 10 percentage points. A project associated with a low-income residential building project or a low-income economic benefit project can receive an increased tax credit of 20 percentage points. 

 

Eligible Technologies

  • Solar Technologies
  • Fuel Cells
  • Wind Turbines 
  • Geothermal Systems
  • Microturbines
  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
  • Offshore Wind
  • Waste Energy Recovery. Qualified waste energy recovery property means property that generates electricity solely from heat from buildings or equipment if the primary purpose of such building or equipment is not the generation of electricity. The term “waste energy recovery property” does not include any property that has a capacity in excess of 50 megawatts.
  • Energy Storage Systems, both paired with generation and installed as a stand-alone system
  • Thermal Energy Storage Systems
  • Qualified Biogas Property
  • Microgrid Controllers
  • Interconnection Property associated with the installation of energy property with a maximum net output of not greater than 5 MW-AC to provide for the transmission or distribution of the electricity produced or stored by such property, and which are properly chargeable to the capital account of the taxpayer.

Credit Monetization

Section 13801 of The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 also established procedures for other parties to monetize certain tax credits, including this one, for equipment placed in service on or after January 1, 2023 and through December 31, 2032. 

The direct pay option allows non-taxable entities to directly monetize certain tax credits. The provisions apply to nonprofits, a state or political subdivision thereof, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Indian tribal governments (as defined in Section 30D(g)(9)), any Alaska Native Corporation (as defined in Section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act), or any corporation operating on a cooperative basis which is engaged in furnishing electric energy to persons in rural areas. Such applicable entities can elect to be treated as having made a tax payment equal to the value of the tax credit they would otherwise be eligible to claim. The entity can then claim a refund for the excess taxes they are deemed to have paid. The option effectively makes this tax credit refundable for these entities. 

The act also allows eligible taxpayers to transfer all or a portion of their eligible tax credits to an unrelated taxpayer. Transfers must be reported to IRS and only one transfer is permitted. Must be elected no later than the due date for tax filing for the tax year the tax credit is claimed.

Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit (48E)

Section 13702 of the Inflation Reduction Act created a new tax credit, the Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit to replace the traditional ITC for systems placed in service on or after January 1, 2025. The tax credit is functionally similar to the ITC, but is not technology-specific. It applies to all generation facilities and energy storage systems that have an anticipated greenhouse gas emissions rate of zero. The credit amount is generally calculated in the same manner as described above, but will be phased out as the U.S. meets greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. For a project whose construction is commenced in the year following the year in which greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity in the United States are equal to or less than 25% of the 2022 levels, the tax credit will not be reduced. However, for projects commenced in the second year following the target being met, the tax credit will be worth 75% of what it would otherwise be. Projects commenced in the third year will receive a credit worth 50%, and all projects commenced after then will not be eligible for a tax credit. 


Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Personal)U.S. Internal Revenue Service07/20/2210/06/22666

According to Section 136 of the U.S. Code, energy conservation subsidies provided (directly or indirectly) to customers by public utilities* are non-taxable. This exclusion does not apply to electricity-generating systems registered as "qualifying facilities" under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). If a taxpayer claims federal tax credits or deductions for the energy conservation property, the investment basis for the purpose of claiming the deduction or tax credit must be reduced by the value of the energy conservation subsidy (i.e., a taxpayer may not claim a tax credit for an expense that the taxpayer ultimately did not pay).

The term "energy conservation measure" includes installations or modifications primarily designed to reduce consumption of electricity or natural gas, or to improve the management of energy demand. Eligible dwelling units include houses, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, boats and similar properties. If a building or structure contains both dwelling units and other units, any subsidy must be properly allocated.

The definition of "energy conservation measure" implies that utility rebates for residential solar-thermal projects and photovoltaic (PV) systems may be non-taxable. However, the IRS has not ruled definitively on this issue. Taxpayers considering using this provision for a renewable energy system should discuss the details of the project with a tax professional. Other types of utility subsidies that may come in the form of credits or reduced rates might also be non-taxable, according to IRS Publication 525.


* The term "public utility" is defined as an entity "engaged in the sale of electricity or natural gas to residential, commercial, or industrial customers for use by such customers." The term includes federal, state and local government entities.

Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)U.S. Internal Revenue Service08/21/1810/06/22676

Note: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased bonus depreciation to 100% for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023. 

Under the federal Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (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. Such property currently includes*:

  • a variety of solar-electric and solar-thermal technologies
  • fuel cells and microturbines
  • geothermal electric
  • direct-use geothermal and geothermal heat pumps
  • small wind (100 kW or less)
  • combined heat and power (CHP)
  • 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.

In addition, for certain other types of renewable energy property, such as biomass or marine and hydrokinetic property, the MACRS property class life is seven years. Eligible biomass property generally includes assets used in the conversion of biomass to heat or to a solid, liquid or gaseous fuel, and to equipment and structures used to receive, handle, collect and process biomass in a waterwall, combustion system, or refuse-derived fuel system to create hot water, gas, steam and electricity. Marine and hydrokinetic property includes facilities that utilize waves, tides, currents, free-flowing water, or differentials in ocean temperature to generate energy. It does not include traditional hydropower that uses dams, diversionary structures, or impoundments.

The 5-year schedule for most types of solar, geothermal, and wind property has been in place since 1986. The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) classified fuel cells, microturbines and solar hybrid lighting technologies as five-year property as well by adding them to § 48(a)(3)(A). This section was further expanded in October 2008 by the addition of geothermal heat pumps, combined heat and power, and small wind under The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Bonus Depreciation

Bonus Depreciation has been sporadically available at different levels during different years. Most recently, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased bonus depreciation to 100% for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023.

Bonus Depreciation History

The 50% first-year bonus depreciation provision enacted in 2008 was extended (retroactively for the entire 2009 tax year) under the same terms by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1), enacted in February 2009. It was renewed again in September 2010 (retroactively for the entire 2010 tax year) by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297). In December 2010 the provision for bonus depreciation was amended and extended yet again by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853). Under these amendments, eligible property placed in service after September 8, 2010 and before January 1, 2012 was permitted to qualify for 100% first-year bonus depreciation. The December 2010 amendments also permitted bonus depreciation to be claimed for property placed in service during 2012, but reverted the allowable amount from 100% to 50% of the eligible basis. The 50% first-year bonus depreciation allowance was further extended for property placed in service during 2013 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8, Sec. 331) in January 2013. The Tax Increase Prevention Act Of 2014 (H.R. 5771, Sec. 125)extended  these provisions through to December 31, 2014, and thus retroactively for the 2014 tax year.

For more information on the federal MACRS, see IRS Publication 946, IRS Form 4562: Depreciation and Amortization, and Instructions for Form 4562. The IRS web site provides a search mechanism for forms and publications. Enter the relevant form, publication name or number, and click "GO" to receive the requested form or publication. For guidance on bonus depreciation, including information relating to the election to claim either 50% or 100% bonus depreciation, retroactive elections to claim 50% bonus depreciation for property placed in service during 2010, and eligible property, please see IRS Rev. Proc. 2011-26.


*Note that the definitions of eligible technologies included in this entry are somewhat simplified versions of those contained in tax code, which often contain additional caveats, restrictions, and modifications. Those interested in this incentive should review the relevant sections of the code in detail prior to making business decisions.

Met-Ed / Penelec Sustainable Energy FundBerks County Community Foundation11/01/2110/06/22678

FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000 with an initial contribution of $5.7 million. The fund later received an additional contribution of $2.5 million as a result of the merger between GPU Energy and FirstEnergy, bringing the total to $8.2 million. The fund is administered by the Berks County Community Foundation. The majority of funding available from the Metropolitan Edison Company SEF takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments, but a limited number of grants are available each year for specific purposes. 

The fund has since joined and share an advising committee with the Pennsylvania Electric Company Sustainable Energy Fund. They are commonly referred to as Met-Ed/ Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund.

Since inception, the Met-Ed/Penelec SEF has approved 213 grants totaling $4,139,373; 47 loans totaling $24,488,724; and 3 equity investments totaling $1,600,000.

Grant Opportunities include:

  • A grant of up to $240,000 to support an applied research and development project in the areas served by the Met-Ed and Penelec electric companies.
  • A grant of up to $230,000 to support the construction of a green, sustainable, and/or natural building or the renovation of an existing building using these energy efficiency principles in the areas served by Met-Ed and Penelec.

The Met-Ed / Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund provides grants, loans, and equity investments to promote:

  • The development and use of renewable energy and clean energy technologies
  • Energy conservation and efficiency
  • Sustainable energy businesses
  • Projects that improve the environment in the companies’ service territories, as defined by their relationship to the companies’ transmission and distribution facilities

Examples of projects funded in the past are available on the program web site, along with details of the grant guidelines.

Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) Loan Program (PPL Territory)Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern PA08/07/2010/06/22679

The Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) promotes and invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and energy education initiatives in the state of Pennsylvania. 

Financial incentives are offered as loans to promote clean energy technologies and for projects where energy savings are measurable. Eligible clean technology applications include a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Financing is available to commercial, industrial, municipal, agricultural, and nonprofit entities. Special features of the loans include: no prepayment penalty, subordinate lien positions, 100% financing, and interest only period payments.

The SEF also provides financing to non-profits through its Energy Savings Agreements program. The program functions as an Energy Service Performance Contracting (ESPC), where the SEF will finance energy efficiency upgrades at a non-profit facility, which are paid back through bill savings. 

The SEF has also developed a Solar Power Purchase Agreements designed for specifically for the needs of non-profit organizations. The program provides technical assistance to non-profits who are looking to purchase or install solar energy. 

The SEF was founded in November 1999 as a result of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission electric utility restructuring proceedings. The SEF was a key component of the joint settlement with PPL, Inc. (now PPL Electric Utilities Corporation) and the PUC. The fund has collected slightly more than $25 million since opening through a rate surcharge on PPL ratepayers. The surcharge expired and was not renewed at the end of 2006. 

West Penn Power SEF Commercial Loan ProgramThe EMS Energy Institute of Pennsylvania State University09/20/2210/06/22682

WPPSEF Offers Conventional Financing that ranges from $25,000 to $1,000,000 and ACT 129 Micro Loans that range from $10,000 to $50,000. For more information on these programs please visit the website above.

The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) promotes the use of renewable energy and clean energy among commercial, industrial, institutional and residential customers in the West Penn market region. Eligible technologies include solar, wind, low-impact hydro, sustainable biomass such as closed-loop biomass and biomass gasification, and innovative natural gas technologies as well as energy efficiency. Clean energy refers to advanced technologies, including landfill gas and fuel cells, which use fossil fuels but have significantly lower emissions and waste than current commercialized technologies and fuels derived from waste.

The WPPSEF accepts proposals for financing year round. The projects should be aligned with WPPSEF's mission and should benefit the West Penn Power ratepayers. Funding for eligible projects may include commercial loans, equity investment, subordinated debt, and royalty financing. Commercial loans are available to manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and service companies involved in renewable and advanced clean energy technologies, as well as energy efficiency and conservation products and services to end-user companies and community-based organizations.

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate)U.S. Internal Revenue Service07/20/2210/06/22727

According to Section 136 of the U.S. Code, energy conservation subsidies provided (directly or indirectly) to customers by public utilities* are non-taxable. This exclusion does not apply to electricity-generating systems registered as "qualifying facilities" under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). If a taxpayer claims federal tax credits or deductions for the energy conservation property, the investment basis for the purpose of claiming the deduction or tax credit must be reduced by the value of the energy conservation subsidy (i.e., a taxpayer may not claim a tax credit for an expense that the taxpayer ultimately did not pay).

The term "energy conservation measure" includes installations or modifications primarily designed to reduce consumption of electricity or natural gas, or to improve the management of energy demand. Eligible dwelling units include houses, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, boats and similar properties. If a building or structure contains both dwelling units and other units, any subsidy must be properly allocated.

The definition of "energy conservation measure" implies that utility rebates for residential solar-thermal projects and photovoltaic (PV) systems may be non-taxable. However, the IRS has not ruled definitively on this issue. Taxpayers considering using this provision for a renewable energy system should discuss the details of the project with a tax professional. Other types of utility subsidies that may come in the form of credits or reduced rates might also be non-taxable, according to IRS Publication 525. 


* The term "public utility" is defined as an entity "engaged in the sale of electricity or natural gas to residential, commercial, or industrial customers for use by such customers." The term includes federal, state and local government entities.

Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)U.S. Internal Revenue Service09/09/2210/06/22734

Note: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376) made several significant changes to this tax credit, including extending the expiration date, providing for new bonus credits, and establishing new criteria to qualify for the full credit. It also phases out this tax credit under section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code at the end of 2024 and replaces it with a new technology-neutral tax credit under section 45Y of the Internal Revenue Code. The summary below describes the current section 45 tax credit as modified by the Inflation Reduction Act, and below that, the new 45Y tax credit.   

The federal renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) is an inflation-adjusted per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit for electricity generated by qualified energy resources and sold by the taxpayer to an unrelated person during the taxable year. The duration of the credit is 10 years after the date the facility is placed in service.

Originally enacted in 1992, the PTC has been renewed and expanded numerous times, most recently by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. That bill established new prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements for larger system to qualify for the full value of the tax credit -- 2.6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for wind, closed-loop biomass, and geothermal energy; 1.3 cents per kWh for open-loop biomass facilities, small irrigation power facilities, landfill gas facilities and trash facilities. In late-2022 or 2023, the Treasury Secretary will issue guidance for these new labor provisions. The credit for different project types and available bonus credits is described below.

Base Credit

Projects under 1 MW (or larger projects that are commenced no more than 60 days after the Treasury Secretary develops labor guidelines) do not need to meet the new labor standards established by the Inflation Reduction to receive the full 1.3 or 2.6 cents/kWh (depending on the facility type) tax credit. This amount may be adjusted annually for inflation. Such projects that begin construction after 2021 and before 2025 can receive the full tax credit. Note, projects that commence construction on or after January 1, 2025 can receive a tax credit under the new Clean Energy Production Tax Credit (45Y) described below. 

Projects over 1 MW that begin construction 60 days after the Treasury Secretary releases labor guidelines and no later than January 1, 2025 will receive a base tax credit of 0.5 cents/kWh. However, projects can qualify for the full tax credit if they ensure that all laborers and mechanics involved in the construction of the project or the maintenance of the project for the entire 10-year PTC period are paid wages at rates not less than prevailing wages. Projects must also ensure that a percentage of total labor hours are performed by qualified apprentices. The percent of hours increases over time to a maximum requirement of 15% in 2024 and thereafter. Note, projects that commence construction on or after January 1, 2025 can receive a tax credit under the new Clean Energy Production Tax Credit (45Y) described below. 

Bonus Credits

The Domestic Content Bonus increases the credit amount by 10% for projects in which 100% of any steel or iron that is a component of the facility and 40% of the manufactured products that are components of the facility were produced in the United States. Note, the required percentage of domestic manufactured products for offshore wind facilities is 20%. 

The Energy Community Bonus increases the credit amount by 10% for projects that are located at one of the following: (i) a brownfield site, (ii) a metropolitan or non-metropolitan statistical area which (A) has (or, at any time during the period beginning after December 31, 2009, had) 0.17% or greater direct employment or 25% or greater local tax revenues related to the extraction, processing, transport, or storage of coal, oil, or natural gas, or (B) has an unemployment rate above the national average for the previous year, or (iii) a census tract or a census tract that is adjoining a census tract in which a coal mine has closed after 1999 or a coal-fired electric generating unit was retired after 2009. 

Credit Monetization

Section 13801 of The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 also established procedures for other parties to monetize certain tax credits, including this one, for equipment placed in service on or after January 1, 2023 and through December 31, 2032. 

The direct pay option allows non-taxable entities to directly monetize certain tax credits. The provisions apply to nonprofits, a state or political subdivision thereof, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Indian tribal governments (as defined in Section 30D(g)(9)), any Alaska Native Corporation (as defined in Section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act), or any corporation operating on a cooperative basis which is engaged in furnishing electric energy to persons in rural areas. Such applicable entities can elect to be treated as having made a tax payment equal to the value of the tax credit they would otherwise be eligible to claim. The entity can then claim a refund for the excess taxes they are deemed to have paid. The option effectively makes this tax credit refundable for these entities. 

The act also allows eligible taxpayers to transfer all or a portion of their eligible tax credits to an unrelated taxpayer. Transfers must be reported to IRS and only one transfer is permitted. Must be elected no later than the due date for tax filing for the tax year the tax credit is claimed.

Clean Energy Production Tax Credit (45Y)

Section 13701 of the Inflation Reduction Act created a new tax credit, the Clean Energy Production Tax Credit to replace the traditional PTC for systems placed in service on or after January 1, 2025. The tax credit is functionally similar to the PTC, but is not technology-specific. It applies to all generation facilities that have an anticipated greenhouse gas emissions rate of zero. The credit amount is generally calculated in the same manner as described above, and all technologies that satisfy the labor requirements will be eligible for the full value of the tax credit as adjusted for inflation. The credit will be phased out as the U.S. meets greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. For a project whose construction is commenced in the year following the year in which greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity in the United States are equal to or less than 25% of the 2022 levels, the tax credit will not be reduced. However, for projects commenced in the second year following the target being met, the tax credit will be worth 75% of what it would otherwise be. Projects commenced in the third year will receive a credit worth 50%, and all projects commenced after then will not be eligible for a tax credit. 


Energy-Efficient Mortgages08/05/2010/06/22742

Homeowners can take advantage of energy efficient mortgages (EEM) to either finance energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, including renewable energy technologies, or to increase their home buying power with the purchase of a new energy efficient home. The U.S. federal government supports these loans by insuring them through Federal Housing Authority (FHA) or Veterans Affairs (VA) programs. This allows borrowers who might otherwise be denied loans to pursue energy efficiency, and it secures lenders against loan default.

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages
The FHA allows lenders to add up to 100% of energy efficiency improvements to an existing mortgage loan with certain restrictions. FHA mortgage limits vary by county, state and the number of units in a dwelling. See their website for more details. These mortgages were previously limited to $8,000.The maximum amount of the portion of an energy efficient mortgage allowed for energy improvements is now the lesser of 5% of:

  • The value of the property,
  • 115% of the median area price of a single-family dwelling, or
  • 150% of the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit

Loan amounts may not exceed the projected savings of the energy efficiency improvements. These loans may be combined with FHA 203 (h) mortgages available to victims of presidentially-declared disasters and with financing offered through the FHA 203 (k) rehabilitation program. FHA loan limits do not apply to the EEM. Borrowers must obtain a home energy assessment by a qualified energy rater, assessor, or auditor using whole-assessment standards, protocols, and procedures. 

Borrowers may include closing costs and the up-front mortgage insurance premium in the total cost of the loan. The loan is available to anyone who meets the income requirements for FHA’s Section 203 (b), provided the applicant can meet the monthly mortgage payments. New and existing owner-occupied homes of up to two units qualify for this loan. Cooperative units are not eligible. Homebuyers should submit applications to their local HUD Field Office through an FHA-approved lending institution.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Energy Efficient Mortgages
The VA insures EEMs to be used in conjunction with VA loans either for the purchase of existing homes or for refinancing loans secured by the dwelling. Homebuyers may borrow up to $3,000 if only documentation of improvement costs or contractor bids is submitted, or up to $6,000 if the projected energy savings are greater than the increase in mortgage payments. Loans may exceed this amount at the discretion of the VA. Applicants may not include the cost of their own labor in the total amount. No additional home appraisal is needed, but applicants must submit a HER, contractor bids and certain other documentation. The VA insures 50% of the loan if taken by itself, but it may insure less if the total value of the mortgage exceeds a certain amount.

This mortgage is available to qualified military personnel, reservists and veterans. Applicants should secure a certificate of eligibility from their local lending office and submit it to a VA-approved private lender. If the loan is approved, the VA guarantees the loan when it is closed.

Conventional EEMs
Conventional mortgages are not backed by a federal agency. Private lenders sell loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which in turn allows homebuyers to borrow up to 15% of an existing home’s appraised value for improvements documented by a HER.

Fannie Mae also lends up to 5% for Energy Star new homes. Fannie Mae EEMs are available to single-family, owner-occupied units, and Fannie Mae provides EEMs to those whose income might otherwise disqualify them from receiving the loans by allowing approved lenders to adjust borrowers’ debt-to-income ratio by 2%. The value of the improvements is immediately added to the total appraised value of the home.

Freddie Mac offers GreenChOICE mortgages to "provide greater affordability for borrowers, offer more flexibility and combine the flexibilities of Home Possible Mortgages to offer borrowers additional affordable financing opportunities." Borrowers should apply directly to the lender. Click here for more details.

ENERGY STAR Partnership for Lenders
To promote EEMs and lenders who offer them, the federal ENERGY STAR program offers a partnership program for lenders who provide EEMs to borrowers. Becoming a partner allows lenders to utilize the Energy Star brand to promote themselves as Energy Star partners offering EEMs. To become a lender, partner lenders must first provide proof that they know how to write EEMs. To maintain their partnership benefits, lenders must write a certain number of EEMs per year. Energy Star does not have a lender certification program or process. Click here for more information about ENERGY STAR's lender partnership program, and here to access the partner locator tool. ENERGY STAR requires that its lender partners provide EEMs to qualified borrowers regardless of whether it is an FHA EEM, Fannie Mae EEM, or VA EEM.

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) GrantsU.S. Department of Agriculture$600 million for FY 201808/21/1810/06/22917

Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development issues periodic Notices of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in the Federal Register. The FY 2018 solicitation for the REAP program includes a total budget of approximately $800 million. 

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption, and participate in energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Renewable energy projects for the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal, and hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources. These grants are limited to 25% of a proposed project's cost, and a loan guarantee may not exceed $25 million. The combined amount of a grant and loan guarantee must be at least $5,000 (with the grant portion at least $1,500) and may not exceed 75% of the project’s cost. In general, a minimum of 20% of the funds available for these incentives will be dedicated to grants of $20,000 or less. For more information on grant, loan guarantees, loan financing, and opportunities for combinations thereof, visit the USDA website. 

Application due dates are published annually in the Notice of Funding Availability. 

Eligibility

Grants and Guaranteed Loans are generally available to small businesses and agricultural producers and other entities as determined by USDA. To be eligible for REAP grants and guaranteed loans, applicants must demonstrate sufficient revenue to cover any operations and maintenance expense as well as any applicable debt service of the project for the duration of the guaranteed loan or grant. Rural small businesses must be located in rural areas, but agricultural producers may be located in non-rural areas.

Eligible project costs include purchasing energy efficiency improvements or a renewable energy system, energy audits or assessments, permitting and licensing fees, and business plans and retrofitting. For new construction the replacement of older equipment with more efficient equipment may be eligible as a project cost only when a new facility is planned to be more efficient and similarly sized than the older facility. Working capital and land acquisition are only eligible for loan guarantees.

For more information regarding applicant and project eligibility for loans and grants, visit the USDA REAP eligibility webpage, read the eligibility requirements in the most recent Solicitation of Applications for REAP funding in the Federal Registry, and/or contact your state rural energy coordinator.

Regional rural energy coordinators provide loan and grant applications upon request.

History

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (H.R. 2419), enacted by Congress in May 2008, converted the federal Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program,* into the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Similar to its predecessor, the REAP 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. Congress has allocated funding for the new program in the following amounts: $55 million for FY 2009, $60 million for FY 2010, $70 million for FY 2011, and $70 million for FY 2012. REAP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to these mandatory funding levels, up to $25 million in discretionary funding may be issued each year. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) extended discretionary funding for FY 2013. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the USDA to offer these programs and removed the mandate to offer grants for feasibility studies.

* The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program was created by the USDA pursuant to Section 9006 of the 2002 federal Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. Funding in the amount of $23 million per year was appropriated for each fiscal year from FY 2003-2007. In March 2008, the USDA announced that it would accept $220.9 million in applications for grants, loan guarantees, and loan/grant combination packages under the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. The application deadline was June 16, 2008.

Land grant colleges and universities are referred to in the summary table as "schools" and "institutional" eligible sectors. K-12 schools are not eligible for this grant.

Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs - Funding OpportunitiesU.S. Department of Energy02/26/2010/06/22918

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs promotes tribal energy sufficiency, economic growth, and employment on tribal lands through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The program provides financial assistance, technical assistance, and education and training to tribes for the evaluation and development of renewable energy resources and energy efficiency measures.

DOE's program offerings consist of program management through DOE headquarters, program implementation and project management through DOE's field offices, and technical support through DOE laboratories. Program management is carried out by DOE's Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, which provides programmatic direction and funding to DOE field offices for program implementation. DOE's Golden Field Office solicits, awards, administers, and manages financial assistance agreements.

Program funding is awarded through a competitive process. Click here to view current program funding opportunities, and here to apply for technical assistance.

Metropolitan Edison Company SEF Loans (FirstEnergy Territory)Berks County Community Foundation10/04/2110/06/221051

FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000 with an initial contribution of $5.7 million. The fund later received an additional contribution of $2.5 million as a result of the merger between GPU Energy and FirstEnergy, bringing the total to $8.2 million. The fund is administered by the Berks County Community Foundation. The majority of funding available from the Metropolitan Edison Company SEF takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments. The program is open to any individual, organization, governmental entity, or corporation.

The fund is designed to promote:

  • The development and use of renewable energy and clean-energy technologies;
  • Energy conservation and efficiency;
  • Sustainable-energy businesses; and
  • Projects that improve the environment in the companies' service territories, as defined by their relationship to the companies' transmission and distribution facilities.

As identified on the program web site, specific types of projects eligible for loans may include renewable electricity generation projects for on-site use or grid supply; projects involving the development of a sustainable energy technology (e.g., solar panel manufacturing); businesses that use renewable energy in the operation of a business; and businesses that enhance energy efficiency and conservation.

To apply to the fund, applicants should present a Letter of Intent explaining the core technology, management team, market opportunities, and company operations for further evaluation by Community Foundation staffs.

Examples of projects funded in the past are available on the program web site, along with details of the investment guidelines.

Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Grant Program (FirstEnergy Territory)Community Foundation of the Alleghenies12/05/2010/06/221056

FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund and the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000. The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies in Johnstown, Pennsylvania administers the Penelec loan and grant components of the Fund. The fund is administered by the Berks County Community Foundation. The majority of funding available from the fund takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments, but a limited number of grants are available each year for specific purposes. The following are the categories of previously funded grants:

Residential Renewable Energy Tax CreditU.S. Internal Revenue Service08/16/2212/31/341235

Note: Section 13302 of The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376) extended the expiration date and modified the phase down of this tax credit. It also made stand-alone energy storage systems eligible for the credit, and biomass heaters ineligible for the credit. Biomass heaters are now eligible for the residential energy efficiency tax credit. The summary below reflects the credit after the enactment of H.R. 5376.

A taxpayer may claim a credit for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer. Expenditures with respect to the equipment are treated as made when the installation is completed. If the installation is at a new home, the "placed in service" date is the date of occupancy by the homeowner. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year. The maximum allowable credit, equipment requirements and other details vary by technology, as outlined below.

Solar-electric property

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2022
  • 30% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2032 and before 01/01/2034
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2033 and before 01/01/2035
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2034.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

Solar water-heating property

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2022
  • 30% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2032 and before 01/01/2034
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2033 and before 01/01/2035
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2034.
  • Equipment must be certified for performance by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed.
  • At least half the energy used to heat the dwelling's water must be from solar in order for the solar water-heating property expenditures to be eligible.
  • The tax credit does not apply to solar water-heating property for swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

Fuel cell property

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2022
  • 30% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2032 and before 01/01/2034
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2033 and before 01/01/2035
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2034.
  • The maximum credit is $500 per half kilowatt (kW).
  • The fuel cell must have a nameplate capacity of at least 0.5 kW of electricity using an electrochemical process and an electricity-only generation efficiency greater than 30%.
  • In case of joint occupancy, the maximum qualifying costs that can be taken into account by all occupants for figuring the credit is $1,667 per 0.5 kW. This does not apply to married individuals filing a joint return. The credit that may be claimed by each individual is proportional to the costs he or she paid.
  • The home served by the system must be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

Small wind-energy property

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2022
  • 30% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2032 and before 01/01/2034
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2033 and before 01/01/2035
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2034.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

Geothermal heat pumps

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2022
  • 30% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2032 and before 01/01/2034
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2033 and before 01/01/2035
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2034.
  • The geothermal heat pump must meet federal Energy Star criteria.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence

Battery Storage Systems (Standalone Systems)

  • 0% for systems placed in service before 1/1/2023
  • 30% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2022 and before 01/01/2033
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2032 and before 01/01/2034
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2033 and before 01/01/2035
  • The system must have a capacity of at least 3 kilowatt hours
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.


Significantly, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 repealed a previous limitation on the use of the credit for eligible projects also supported by "subsidized energy financing." For projects placed in service after December 31, 2008, this limitation no longer applies.

Energy Storage

Prior to the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the federal tax code did not explicitly reference energy storage, so stand-alone energy storage systems did not qualify for the tax credit.  However, the IRS issued Private Letter Rulings in 2013 and 2018, which address energy storage paired with PV systems. In both cases, the IRS ruled that the energy storage equipment when paired with PV met the statutory definition of a "qualified solar electric property expenditure," as was eligible for the tax credit. It is important to note that Private Letter Rulings only apply to the taxpayer who requested it, and do not establish precedent. Any taxpayer considering the purchase of an energy storage system should consult their accountant or other tax professional before claiming a tax credit.  


History

Established by The Energy Policy Act of 2005, the federal tax credit for residential energy property initially applied to solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems and fuel cells. The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 extended the tax credit to small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps, effective January 1, 2008. Other key revisions included an eight-year extension of the credit to December 31, 2016; the ability to take the credit against the alternative minimum tax; and the removal of the $2,000 credit limit for solar-electric systems beginning in 2009. The credit was further enhanced in February 2009 by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which removed the maximum credit amount for all eligible technologies (except fuel cells) placed in service after 2008.

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs)U.S. Internal Revenue Service08/15/1810/06/222510

Note: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 repealed section 54C of the Internal Revenue Code, which authorized the use of New CREBs. IRS Notice 2018-15  announced that the IRS will no longer process applications for or issue allocations of New CREBs. The summary below describes CREBs before they were repealed, and is here for historical purposes only. 

Clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs) may be used by certain entities -- primarily in the public sector -- to finance renewable energy projects. The list of qualifying technologies is generally the same as that used for the federal renewable energy production tax credit (PTC). CREBs may be issued by electric cooperatives, government entities (states, cities, counties, territories, Indian tribal governments or any political subdivision thereof), and by certain lenders.  The bondholder receives federal tax credits in lieu of a portion of the traditional bond interest, resulting in a lower effective interest rate for the borrower.* The issuer remains responsible for repaying the principal on the bond.

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (Div. A, Sec. 107) allocated $800 million for new Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs). In February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Div. B, Sec. 1111) allocated an additional $1.6 billion for New CREBs, for a total New CREB allocation of $2.4 billion. The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 also extended the deadline for previously reserved allocations ("Old CREBs") until December 31, 2009, and addressed several provisions in the existing law that previously limited the usefulness of the program for some projects. A separate section of the law extended CREBs eligibility to marine energy and hydrokinetic power projects.

Participation in the program is limited by the volume of bonds allocated by Congress for the program. Participants must first apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a CREBs allocation, and then issue the bonds within a specified time period. The New CREBs allocation totaling $2.4 billion does not have a defined expiration date under the law; however, recent IRS solicitations for new applications require the bonds to be issued within 3 years after the applicant receives notification of an approved allocation (see History section below for information on previous allocations). Public power providers, governmental bodies, and electric cooperatives are each reserved an equal share (33.3%) of the New CREBs allocation. IRS Notice 2015-12, however, divided the remaining volume cap differently: $516,565,691.35 for public power providers, $597,134,963.60 for governmental bodies, and $280,778,469.00 for cooperative utilities.

The tax credit rate is set daily by the U.S. Treasury Department. Under past allocations, the credit could be taken quarterly on a dollar-for-dollar basis to offset the tax liability of the bondholder. However, under the new CREBs allocation, the credit has been reduced to 70% of what it would have been otherwise. Other important changes are described in IRS Notice 2009-33.

CREBs differ from traditional tax-exempt bonds in that the tax credits issued through CREBs are treated as taxable income for the bondholder. The tax credit may be taken each year the bondholder has a tax liability as long as the credit amount does not exceed the limits established by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. Treasury rates for prior CREB allocations, or "Old" CREBs are available here, while rates for New CREBs and other qualified tax credit bonds are available here.

In April 2009, the IRS issued Notice 2009-33, which solicited applications for the New CREB allocation and provided interim guidance on certain program rules and changes from prior CREB allocations. The expiration date for New CREB applications under this solicitation was August 4, 2009. Further guidance on CREBs is available in IRS Notices 2006-7 and 2007-26 to the extent that the program rules were not modified by 2008 and 2009 legislation. In October 2009, the Department of Treasury announced the allocation of $2.2 billion in new CREBs for 805 projects across the country. A new solicitation (IRS Announcement 2010-54) was issued in September 2010 for roughly $191 million in unallocated New CREB bond volume available only to electric cooperatives. The award announcement for this allocation was made in March 2011. It remains to be seen if or when the IRS will issue new funding announcements for Old CREB allocations which were not issued by the December 31, 2009 deadline, or New CREB allocations which miss the three-year issuance period.

History
The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) established Clean Energy Renewable Bonds (CREBs) as a financing mechanism for public sector renewable energy projects. This legislation originally allocated $800 million of tax credit bonds to be issued between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2007. Following the enactment of the federal Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, the IRS made an additional $400 million in CREBs financing available for 2008 through Notice 2007-26.

In November 2006, the IRS announced that the original $800 million allocation had been reserved for a total of 610 projects. The additional $400 million (plus surrendered volume from the previous allocation) was allocated to 312 projects in February 2008. Of the $1.2 billion total of tax-credit bond volume cap allocated to fund renewable-energy projects, state and local government borrowers were limited to $750 million of the volume cap, with the rest reserved for qualified municipal or cooperative electric companies.

For further information on CREBs, contact Zoran Stojanovic or Timothy Jones of the IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel at (202) 622-3980. Questions on recent IRS Notice 2009-33 can be directed to Janae Lemley at (636) 255-1202.


*In March 2010 Congress enacted H.R. 2847 (Sec. 301) permitting New CREB issuers to make an irrevocable election to receive a direct payment -- a refundable tax credit -- from the Department of Treasury equivalent to and in lieu of the amount of the non-refundable tax credit which would otherwise be provided to the bondholder. This option only applies to New CREBs issued after the March 18, 2010 enactment of the law. In April 2010 the IRS issued Notice 2010-35 providing guidance on the direct payment option.

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan GuaranteesU.S. Department of Agriculture08/21/1810/06/222511

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in rural America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption, and participate in energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Renewable energy projects for the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal, and hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources. These grants are limited to 25% of a proposed project's cost, and a loan guarantee may not exceed $25 million. The combined amount of a grant and loan guarantee must be at least $5,000 (with the grant portion at least $1,500) and may not exceed 75% of the project’s cost. In general, a minimum of 20% of the funds available for these incentives will be dedicated to grants of $20,000 or less. For more information on grant, loan guarantees, loan financing, and opportunities for combinations thereof, visit the USDA website.

Application due dates are published annually in the Notice of Funding Availability.

Eligibility

Grants and Guaranteed Loans are generally available to small businesses and agricultural producers and other entities as determined by USDA. To be eligible for REAP grants and guaranteed loans, applicants must demonstrate sufficient revenue to cover any operations and maintenance expense as well as any applicable debt service of the project for the duration of the guaranteed loan or grant. Rural small businesses must be located in rural areas, but agricultural producers may be located in non-rural areas.

Eligible project costs include purchasing energy efficiency improvements or a renewable energy system, energy audits or assessments, permitting and licensing fees, and business plans and retrofitting. For new construction the replacement of older equipment with more efficient equipment may be eligible as a project cost only when a new facility is planned to be more efficient and similarly sized than the older facility. Working capital and land acquisition are only eligible for loan guarantees.

For more information regarding applicant and project eligibility for loans and grants, visit the USDA REAP eligibility webpage, read the eligibility requirements in the most recent Solicitation of Applications for REAP funding in the Federal Registry, and/or contact your state rural energy coordinator.

Regional rural energy coordinators provide loan and grant applications upon request.

History

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (H.R. 2419), enacted by Congress in May 2008, converted the federal Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program,* into the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Similar to its predecessor, the REAP 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. Congress has allocated funding for the new program in the following amounts: $55 million for FY 2009, $60 million for FY 2010, $70 million for FY 2011, and $70 million for FY 2012. REAP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to these mandatory funding levels, up to $25 million in discretionary funding may be issued each year. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) extended discretionary funding for FY 2013. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the USDA to offer these programs and removed the mandate to offer grants for feasibility studies.

* The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program was created by the USDA pursuant to Section 9006 of the 2002 federal Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002Funding in the amount of $23 million per year was appropriated for each fiscal year from FY 2003-2007. In March 2008, the USDA announced that it would accept $220.9 million in applications for grants, loan guarantees, and loan/grant combination packages under the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. The application deadline was June 16, 2008.

Land grant colleges and universities are referred to in the summary as "schools" and "institutional" eligible sectors. K-12 schools are not eligible for this grant.

U.S. Department of Energy - Loan Guarantee ProgramU.S. Department of Energy09/08/2210/06/223071
Note: The Inflation Reduction Act (H.R. 5376) made several changes to this program. It appropriated approximately $11.7 billion in total for the Loan Programs Office (LPO) to support issuing new loans. This, in turn, increased the loan authority in LPO’s existing loan programs by approximately $100 billion. The Inflation Reduction Act also adds a new loan program, the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) Program (section 1706), to help retool, repower, repurpose, or replace energy infrastructure that has ceased operations or to improve the efficiency of infrastructure that is currently operating. 

Title 17 Program

Section 1703 of Title 17 of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 created the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Loan Guarantee Program. The program was reauthorized and revised by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 by adding Section 1705 to EPAct. The 1705 Program was retired in September 2011, and Loan Guarantees are no longer available under that authority. DOE, however, still has authority to issue Loan Guarantees under the old Section 1703 Program.  

Under Section 1703, DOE is authorized to issue loan guarantees for projects with high technology risks 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." Loan guarantees are intended to encourage early commercial use of new or significantly improved technologies in energy projects. The loan guarantee program generally does not support research and development projects.

The Inflation Reduction Act added an additional $40 billion of loan authority to Section 1703 program. The legislation appropriated $3.6 billion in credit subsidy to support the cost of those loans and set aside a percentage of these amounts for administrative expenses to help carry out the program, including monitoring and originating new loans. This new loan authority is open to all currently eligible Title 17 Innovative Clean Energy technology categories, including fossil energy and nuclear energy. The Inflation Reduction Act appropriations also support the expanded activities authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that required these new appropriations to go into effect. These expanded activities support projects involving critical minerals processing, manufacturing, and recycling, and removing the innovation requirement for State Energy Financing Institution-backed projects.

Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) Program (Section 1706)

The Inflation Reduction Act also created a new program under Title 17, the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) Program. The new program targets projects that retool, repower, repurpose, or replace energy infrastructure that has ceased operations, or enable operating energy infrastructure to avoid, reduce, utilize, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. The Inflation Reduction Act appropriated $5 billion through September 30, 2026, to carry out EIR, with a total cap on loans of up to $250 billion. 

Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program

LPO initially had $15.1 billion in loan authority to support the manufacture of eligible light-duty vehicles and qualifying components under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM), authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  To date, the program has loaned $8 billion for projects that have supported the production of more than 4 million advanced technology vehicles. Read more about LPO's ATVM portfolio. The Inflation Reduction Act removed the $25 billion cap on the total amount of loans it can award and appropriated $3 billion to remain available through September 30, 2028 for the costs of direct loans under ATVM. In addition to amounts supported by currently appropriated credit subsidy, this $3 billion is estimated to provide for an additional ~$40 billion in loan authority for a total estimated available loan authority under ATVM of ~$55.1 billion. 

Tribal Energy Projects

The Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP) supports tribal investment in energy-related projects by providing direct loans or partial loan guarantees to federally recognized tribe, including Alaska Native village or regional or village corporations; or a Tribal Energy Development Organization (TEDO) that is wholly or substantially owned by a federally recognized tribe federally recognized Indian tribe or Alaska Native Corporation. Under this solicitation, The Inflation Reduction Act increased the aggregate amount of loans available at any time under the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP) from $2 billion to $20 billion. It also provided $75 million to remain available through September 30, 2028 to carry out TELGP under section 2602(c) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs)U.S. Internal Revenue Service08/22/1810/06/223098

Note: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1) of 2017 repealed the use of tax credit bonds effective January 1, 2018.  Issuers of QECBs that elected to receive direct payments from the Treasury issued on or before December 31, 2017, consistent with the Internal Revenue Code (Section 54D), will continue to receive direct payments. The summary presented below is for historical purposes. 

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, enacted in October 2008, authorized the issuance of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) that 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. The October 2008 enabling legislation set a limit of $800 million on the volume of energy conservation tax credit bonds that may be issued by state and local governments. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, enacted in February 2009, expanded the allowable bond volume to $3.2 billion. 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.

With tax credit bonds, generally the borrower who issues the bond pays back only the principal of the bond, and the bondholder receives federal tax credits in lieu of the traditional bond interest. The tax credit may be taken quarterly to offset the tax liability of the bondholder. The tax credit rate is set daily by the U.S. Treasury Department; however, energy conservation bondholders will receive only 70% of the full rate set by the Treasury Department under 26 USC § 54A. QECB rates are available here. Credits exceeding a bondholder's tax liability may be carried forward to the succeeding tax year, but cannot be refunded. Energy conservation bonds differ from traditional tax-exempt bonds in that the tax credits issued through the program are treated as taxable income for the bondholder.

For QECBs issued after March 18, 2010, the bond issuer may make an irrevocable election to receive a direct payment from the Department of Treasury equivalent to the amount of the non-refundable tax credit described above, which would otherwise accrue to the bondholder. The direct payment comes in the form of a refundable tax credit to the issuer in lieu of a tax credit to the bondholder. This option was formerly limited to Build America Bonds (see 26 USC § 6431, H.R. 2847 and IRS Notice 2010-35 for details). The advantage of either option is that it creates a lower effective interest rate for the issuer because the federal government subsidizes a portion of the interest costs.

In contrast to CREBs, QECBs are not subject to a U.S. Department of Treasury application and approval process. Bond volume is instead allocated to each state based on the state's percentage of the U.S. population as of July 1, 2008. Each state is then required to allocate a portion of its allocation to "large local governments" within the state based on the local government's percentage of the state's population. Large local governments are defined as municipalities and counties with populations of 100,000 or more. Large local governments may reallocate their designated portion back to the state if they choose to do so. IRS Notice 2009-29 contains a list of the QECB allocations for each state and U.S. territory. Implementing allocations and reallocations most often, but not always, takes place through State Energy Offices. As of this writing some states have yet to assign implementation responsibilities to a specific state agency.

The definition of "qualified energy conservation projects" is fairly broad and contains elements relating to energy efficiency capital expenditures in public buildings that reduce energy consumption by at least 20%; green community programs (including loans and grants to implement such programs); renewable energy production; various research and development applications; mass commuting facilities that reduce energy consumption; several types of energy related demonstration projects; and public energy efficiency education campaigns. In July 2012 the IRS issued Notice 2012-44 clarifying the meaning of "capital expenditures" and "green community program", and providing guidance on meeting the 20% energy consumption reduction requirement for energy -efficiency related capital expenditures in publicly-owned buildings (see 26 USC § 54D and IRS Notice 2012-44 for additional details). Renewable energy facilities that are eligible for CREBs are also eligible for QECBs.

Solar Energy Incentives ProgramDepartment of Community and Economic Development$80 million07/14/2110/06/223352

Note: The deadline for the most recent solicitation under this program has now passed. The program is currently closed, pending revisions to the program guidelines. Please see the program web site for further details. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development now provides the Alternative and Clean Energy Program in place of this one.

In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted legislation providing $650 million to support a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $80 million grant and loan program for solar energy technologies. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were first issued in April 2009 although they have been revised since that time. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.).

The program will offer support for solar technologies in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). Eligible facilities are defined as those that generate, distribute, or store solar energy; manufacturing or assembly facilities for solar panels or other solar equipment; and solar technology R&D facilities. This definition includes both solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. All systems must have a lifetime of at least four years. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a building to manufacture solar components and systems
  • Equipment purchases for the manufacture of solar systems
  • Purchase, installation and construction of facilities to produce, distribute, and store solar energy or produce hot water using solar energy
  • Project planning and feasibility studies
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs associated with an eligible project, not to exceed 3% of funding

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program. Energy generation projects must undergo a solar shade analysis which shows annual energy production of at least 80% of optimal. In addition, all PV energy systems must be new and UL-listed and solar thermal systems must be new and SRCC OG-100 rated (or comparable rating approved by the DEP). All systems must be installed in accordance with the applicable construction codes and standards.

Loans
Loans are available at a fixed interest rate -- 5% as of August 2011 -- for terms of up to 10 years (equipment) or 15 years (real estate). Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $35,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Loans for energy production projects are generally limited to $5 million although larger loans of greater than may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Loans for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt.

Grants
Grants for manufacturing facilities are available for up to $5,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants for energy production facilities are generally limited to $1 million, although larger grants may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible for grants of the lesser of 50% of the cost of the study or $175,000. The guidelines state that the CFA prefers to support generation projects through loans rather than grants; however, it will consider grant requests from projects for which there is not a long-term contract (10 years or more) in place for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) produced by the project.

Loan Guarantees
Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $30 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.

High Performance Building Incentives ProgramDepartment of Community and Economic Development$25 million (grants and loans combined)04/04/2210/06/223354

In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for high performance buildings. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were issued in April 2009 and revised in November 2009. Incentives are available to both in-state small businesses (100 or fewer total employees) and individuals for the construction or major renovation of homes or commercial buildings. Homes must be primary residences in order to be eligible.

The program will offer support for green buildings in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). In order to be eligible for incentives, new construction and major renovation projects must achieve the applicable Gold certification under USGBC LEED or the National Green Building Standard, or at least 3 Globes under the GBI Green Globes system. Buildings must also meet additional requirements in certain categories. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a high performance building
  • Project planning, design, and modeling work
  • Fees for registration and certification of a project
  • Commissioning and enhanced verification of building performance
  • Administrative costs of the applicant to administer a grant

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.

Eligibility

  • Small Businesses
  • Individuals


Loans
Loans for high performance building projects for small businesses shall not exceed $2 million. Loans for individual residence projects shall not exceed $100,000.

Grants
Grants for high performance building projects shall not exceed $500,000 or 10% of the total eligible building construction/renovation costs, whichever is less.

Loan Guarantees
Grants shall not exceed $2 million for a small business and $100,000 for an individual and have a term of not more than five years. The grants funds may only be drawn upon in the event the grant recipient defaults on its financing and there is a deficiency in collateral for the lending institution to collect upon.
Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.

Terms

There is a matching investment requirement of at least $1 for every $1 of program funds awarded. There is a $100 non-refundable application fee due at the time of submission made payable to the CFA. There is a 1% commitment fee on all approved loans. 

 

High Performance Buildings Incentive ProgramDepartment of Community and Economic Development$25 million07/21/2010/06/223602

In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for high performance buildings. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were issued in April 2009 and revised in November 2009. Incentives are available to both in-state small businesses (100 or fewer total employees) and individuals for the construction or major renovation of homes or commercial buildings. Homes must be primary residences in order to be eligible.

The program will offer support for green buildings in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). In order to be eligible for incentives, new construction and major renovation projects must achieve the applicable Gold certification under USGBC LEED or the National Green Building Standard, or at least 3 Globes under the GBI Green Globes system. Buildings must also meet additional requirements in certain categories. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a high performance building
  • Project planning, design, and modeling work
  • Fees for registration and certification of a project
  • Commissioning and enhanced verification of building performance
  • Administrative costs of the applicant to administer a grant

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.

Loans
Loans are available at a fixed interest rate, which is updated quarterly, and must be repaid within 10 years. The maximum loan is $100,000 for residential projects and $2 million for small business projects. Loans may be amortized over a period of up to 25 years.

Grants
Grants are available for up to 10% of eligible project costs or $500,000. Applicants may request both a grant and a loan, but not for the same project.

Loan Guarantees
Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant, up to $100,000 for residential projects and $2 million for small business projects. Loan guarantees have a term of no more than 5 years. 

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.

USDA - High Energy Cost Grant ProgramUSDA Rural Utilities Service$10 million (2021 solicitation)07/20/2210/06/224359

NOTE: The most recent solicitation for this program closed July 6, 2021. Please check the program website for information on future solicitations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers an ongoing grant program for the improvement of energy generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in rural communities. This program began in 2000. Eligibility is limited to projects in communities that have average home energy costs at least 275% above the national average. Retail power suppliers serving rural areas are eligible to apply for grant funding, including non-profits (cooperatives and limited dividend or mutual associations), commercial entities, state and local governments entities, and tribal governments. Under the most recent solicitation for projects, a total of $7 million was available for qualifying projects. Under this solicitation grants ranging from $100,000 to $3 million were available for a variety of activities, including:

  • 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.

This grant program is not limited to renewable energy or energy conservation and efficiency measures, but these measures are eligible for this grant program.

City of Philadelphia - Streamlined Solar Permitting and Fee Reduction11/19/1410/06/224744

Photovoltaic systems of 10 kW or less installed on 1- or 2-family residential units are eligible for streamlined permitting and a fee reduction. PV projects can use a combined electrical and building permit instead of filling out two separate permits if the project meets certain installation and electrical requirements (as outlined on the combined permit form). In addition, electrical and building permit fees for all PV projects are reduced to $25 per $1,000 labor - lowered from the standard $25 per $1,000 of labor and equipment costs. This treatment was established by separate bills relating to electrical permits and building permits enacted in late 2011. Philadelphia has a Solar Installation Guidebook to assist residents and builders in Philadelphia through the process of obtaining the necessary permits and installing solar.

FHA PowerSaver Loan Program03/07/1610/06/225631

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) through its PowerSaver loan program offers three financing options for homeowners to make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in their residences. For all three PowerSaver products, borrowers must select from a list of approved PowerSaver lenders. Please check the HUD website to find a list of participating FHA approved lender for the program. PowerSaver products are not currently offered in all states, so all potential applicants are encouraged to first check the program website to ensure product availability in their location. 

Eligibility

Homeowners must have following requirements to be eligible for the program:

  •  Minimum credit score of 660
  •  Maximum total debt to income ratio of 45% (monthly income divided by monthly debt payments)
  • Maximum combined loan-to-value: 100%
  • Property type: One-unit, owner-occupied, principal residence properties only
  • Appraisal requirement: exterior-only inspection appraisal or other FHA method of valuation
  • PowerSaver insures lien position in the first place, or second place, and also insures loans without lien, as long as the loan amount is less than $7,500. 

Eligible Measures

Eligible home energy upgrades include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • A whole home upgrade through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
  • Insulation and air sealing
  • Replacing doors and windows
  • Upgrading heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems and hot water systems
  • Home automations systems and controls (e.g., smart thermostats)
  • Installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar thermal hot water systems, small wind power, or geothermal heat pumps

PowerSaver Home Energy Upgrade—Up to $7,500

This unsecured consumer loan is intended for smaller projects (e.g., insulation, air and duct sealing, water heating, replacing heating and cooling equipment, etc.). It does not require a home appraisal or lien on the property. Single-family homeowners may qualify for the loan if they have manageable debt and a credit score of 660 or higher. Interest rates vary, but typically range from 4.99% to 7.75%. PowerSaver participating lenders, markets, and contact information is available here.

PowerSaver Second Mortgage (Title I)—Up to $25,000

This Title I loan is intended for financing larger retrofit projects, including energy efficiency, PV, solar hot water, geothermal, or other renewable energy projects. A home appraisal or equity is generally not required, but PowerSaver lenders may request it if required by their investor. Borrowers cannot currently have an existing home equity loan, a second lien, or second mortgage to qualify for this product. Interest rates vary but typically range from 4.99% to 9.99%, and the maximum loan term is 20 years. PowerSaver Title I participating lenders, markets, and contact information is available here.

PowerSaver Energy Rehab (203(k))—First mortgage up to FHA loan limits

This 203(k) loan is for home purchase or refinance, targeting either home buyers wishing to combine home improvements with a home purchases or to homeowners wishing to include home improvements when refinancing an existing mortgage. It is FHA-insured up to 100% for a home purchase or refinance, plus the cost of a home improvement project. Current loan limits for a single-unit property vary by area from $217,500 to $625,000 (higher amounts are permitted for two-, three- and four-unit properties); specific loan limits for an area can be found at this website. In order to qualify as a 203(k) PowerSaver loan, at least $3,500 of the home improvements must consist of eligible PowerSaver measures. PowerSaver 203(k) participating lenders, markets, and contact information is available here.

The two types of PowerSaver 203(k) loans are Standard and Streamlined. Standard 203(k) loans are for major improvements, where a home improvement project costs at least $5,000 and includes $3,500 in energy upgrades. The Streamlined 203(k) loans are for minor home improvements, where the home improvement project cost must not exceed $35,000. A HUD consultant is only required for oversight of home improvements for Standard 203(k) loans. 



Solar Alternative Energy Credits09/11/2210/06/225682

Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), created by S.B. 1030 on November 30, 2004, requires each electric distribution company (EDC) and electric generation supplier (EGS) to retail electric customers in Pennsylvania to supply roughly 18% of its electricity using alternative-energy resources -- roughly 8% from Tier I technologies and 10% from Tier II technologies -- by 2021. The standard also contains a solar set-aside requiring obligated entities to procure a small percentage of their electricity sales from photovoltaic (PV) systems as part of the Tier I requirement. As with the other components of Pennsylvania's AEPS, the percentage requirement ramps up slowly over time. The obligation was set at 0.0120% for the compliance year running from June 2009 - May 2010, accelerating to an ultimate target of 0.5% in compliance year 2020-2021.

Under Pennsylvania law, a solar alternative energy credit (SAEC) represents proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated by a qualifying PV facility. In many other states the term "solar renewable energy certificate" or "SREC" is used to represent the functional equivalent (i.e., a means of compliance with a solar energy standard) of an SAEC in Pennsylvania. Electricity suppliers must purchase SAECs in order to meet their compliance obligations under the law, or pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) for any shortfalls in SAEC purchases.

In Pennsylvania the SACP varies from year to year based largely on the market price of SAECs traded during the prior compliance year, thus it is only known after the end of a compliance year. The SACP is for a given year is calculated as 200% times the sum of (1) the market value of SAECs of the reporting period and (2) the leveled value of up-front rebates received by sellers of SAECs (see PUC order listed above for a more detailed description). As of February 17, 2022, the SACP was $76.48, the largest part of which is attributable to the weighted average SAEC market price of $40 per SAEC for the 2021 period.

Under this system SAECs represent a potentially significant source of revenue for owners of qualifying PV facilities with a value determined by demand in the trading market. Eligible generators in Pennsylvania, including on-site generators, retain ownership of SAECs generated by their system until they voluntarily transfer them to another party. A generator remains eligible to generate SAECs for as long as the facility remains certified as an eligible generator. An SAEC may generally be used for compliance by a utility for the compliance year during which it was generated or the two subsequent compliance years. However, SAECs purchased by a utility during a time period for which the utility is under rate caps -- rate caps for some utilities did not expire until January 1, 2011 -- may be used by the utility in the compliance year the rate caps are lifted or in the subsequent compliance year.

In order to begin producing SAECs that can be used for compliance with Pennsylvania's AEPS, a generator must apply for and be certified as an eligible generator. In order to be considered an eligible generator for the purpose of the AEPS, the generator must generally be located either within the state of Pennsylvania or within the broader PJM region. The exception to this rule is that energy from resources located within the footprint of the Midwest Independent Systems Operator (MISO) -- which also serves a small portion of Pennsylvania -- may be used for compliance in areas served by the MISO. The practical impact of this exception is that out-of-state resources located in the MISO may only be used for compliance by the Pennsylvania Power Co. or energy suppliers operating within its service territory.

Systems must be operational before the owner can apply for a certification number. Once a generator has received a certification number from the program administrator, they may create an account on the PJM-EIS Generation Attributes Tracking System (GATS). The GATS is used to track the generation and transfer of SAECs from an eligible facility. The GATS issues SAECs to correspond with energy generation readings that the system owner uploads to the system. Facilities less than 15 kW DC capacity, interconnected prior to May 18, 2017, that did not receive funding from the PA Sunshine program, and do not have a Revenue Grade Meter may be eligible to produce SRECs from estimated generation based on PV Watts estimates. A facility must use actual, metered production if the facility is equal to or greater than 15kW, has a revenue-grade PV meter installed, or if the facility is composed of adjustable tilt PV modules or laminate PV modules, or if the facility was interconnected on or after May 18, 2017. In addition, estimates are not allowed if the facility already has metered generation processed by PJM-GATS, as stated in the GATS Operating Rules, Section 6.3.3 Section d.

Pennsylvania will only recognize the generation of SAECs by a system after the date of the application for certification. In 2017, Pennsylvania passed Act No. 40, which restricted geographical eligibility for the PA SREC market to Pennsylvania-sited solar photovoltaic systems effective October 30, 2017. The law may also impact out-of-state systems which were certified prior to the rule change. The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission will be reviewing the Act and issuing an Order regarding eligibility in the program in the coming months.

For a period of time before January 2011, PA-sited systems were eligible to apply to the DC SREC market; today, PA-sited systems are only eligible for PA and OH

The program website contains additional information on Pennsylvania's AEPS, registering a facility, and using credit brokers and aggregators.

Fannie Mae Green Financing – Loan Program05/08/2010/06/225780

NOTE: Only multifamily properties are eligible for the program. Single family homeowners are not eligible for this program. 

The Fannie Mae Green Financing Business provides mortgage financing to apartment buildings and cooperatives (with 5 or more units) to finance energy and water efficiency property improvements. Its green financing programs include Green Rewards, and preferential pricing for loans secured by a property with an eligible Green Building Certification. All Fannie Mae green loans are securitized as Green Mortgage Backed Securities (Green MBS). To learn more about these programs, multifamily property owners should coordinate with a Fannie Mae DUS Lender:  https://multifamily.fanniemae.com/about-multifamily/our-partners/dus-lenders

Green Rewards, launched in 2015, provides preferential pricing and up to an additional 5% of loan proceeds by including up to 75% of projected owner energy and water savings and 25% of projected tenant savings in the loan underwriting. Conventional and affordable multifamily properties, as well as cooperatives, seniors, military, and student housing properties are eligible for this program. To qualify for a Green Rewards loan the property owner must commit to making property improvements that are projected to reduce the whole property’s annual energy and water consumption by at least 30%, which a minimum of 15% must be attributable to savings in energy consumption. Properties may be located anywhere in US, and the selected property upgrades must be completed within 12 months of loan closing.

Fannie Mae also provides preferential pricing for an acquisition or refinance loan on a conventional or affordable property that has a current, eligible Green Building Certification per Fannie Mae Form 4250.

Please visit the Fannie Mae Green Financing website for more information and detailed program requirements.

Solar Energy Loan ProgramDepartment of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)11/22/1610/06/225945

The Solar Energy Program (SEP) program offers financial assistance as loans to eligible applicants to promote manufacturing, research and development, and generation of solar energy in the state.  The program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). 

Eligibility

The program provides loans for solar projects, including generation, distribution, storage, manufacturing or assembly facilities for solar panels or equipment, and development or construction of facilities used for research and development of technology related to solar energy.  The terms of the loan for each of the sectors are tabled above. Although the maximum loan amount is set at $5 million, the CFA will consider loan requests over $5 million for projects depending on the impact of the project. 

Only businesses, not-for-profit, economic development organization, and local governments are eligible to apply to apply for the loan. Business includes any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or any entity approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.  Economic development organizations include nonprofit corporation or association focused on enhancement of economic conditions in their community. Local governments or political subdivision includes a municipality, county, or school district. 

Program Description 

The program has a 25% cost share requirement. The applicant must provide evidence of a commitment of matching investment of at least $1 for every $3 of program funds awarded by the CFA. 

The loan amount can be used for following measures:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, right-of-way, and easements necessary for the project.
  • Clearing and preparation of land necessary for construction of the project.
  • Construction or renovation of buildings used for either manufacture equipment, research, or development related to solar energy systems. 
  • Purchase and installation of equipment used for the manufacturing of equipment, or to conduct research and development related to solar energy systems. 
  • Design, purchase of equipment, installation, and construction of facilities that generate electricity.
  • Energy storage costs directly related to the storage of electricity produced by solar energy system. 
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs (not to exceed 2% of the loan amount).

Expenses related to fees for securing other financing, interest on borrowed funds, refinancing of existing debt, and cost incurred prior to the approval of CFA financing are not eligible for funding. 

To apply for funding, interested applicants can submit an online application available at the Department of Community and Economic Development website. Applications must be received at least 60 days prior to the next scheduled CFA meeting at which Solar Energy Program applications will be considered. The application review schedule is available on the CFA website

City of Philadelphia - Solar Rebate ProgramCity of PhiladelphiaMaximum of $500,000 per fiscal year08/14/1912/31/2422110

On August 14, 2019, Mayor Kenney of Philadelphia signed a law which created a Solar Rebate. The rebate is paid by the City for commercial or residential solar installations completed after July 1, 2019. These incentive payments will average $1,000 per home. The program has a spending cap of $500,000 per fiscal year.

PPL Electric Utilities - Business Incentive Program06/08/2210/06/2222438

PPL Electric Utilities offers incentives on a variety of energy efficiency projects, including solar and CHP.

Incentives are valued based on peak demand reductions which are determined as the average of the demand reduction during June, July, and August peaks. The peak period is non-holiday weekdays between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.