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A: Homeowners have the power to choose their energy efficiency contractor! In the best interest of County residents, in order to analyze your home and provide recommended energy efficiency improvements, there is a vetted and pre-approved list or network of certified contractors who have agreed to the program terms and conditions. The first step in participating in both EmPOWER Maryland and the Clean Energy Program is to select a contractor from the list to perform your energy audit. Currently there are 30+ included on the list. Local economic development is encouraged by selecting contractors from your local community.
This list can be found here: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program/overview/participating-contractors.
“OCS Sustainable Energy does not endorse, sponsor, or otherwise make any representation or warranty with respect to any contractor or the work, materials, or services provided by any contractor.”
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A: There are 3 basic requirements for grant eligibility:
*must meet low-income qualification in chart below to be considered for LIEEP; if not, then you are considered a market-rate resident and would participate in HPwES.
A: lf you are looking for assistance with your utilities, please use the following resources to assist you. Here is the listing of energy assistance programs in Prince George’s County. If your utilities have been shut-off, here is the link Prince George’s County’s utility termination notice
A: There are 9 neighborhoods distinguished as being an ERC: Bladensburg - East Riverdale; Forestville; Hillcrest Heights - Marlow Heights; Kentland - Palmer Park; Oxon Hill – Glassmanor; Silver Hill; Suitland - Coral Hills; and Woodlawn – Lanham.
Applicants for a grant in the Clean Energy Program can satisfy this condition with the address on record as shown on the recent copy of the electric utility bill. To confirm you are in one of the ERC communities, you must look up your address by using the ERC Address Locator: (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9ae47ece53fa4a519919d2b91873392b). Please note the ERC Address Locator is the definitive tool for determining the eligibility of an application. You must drill in to ensure your address is in the ERC boundary.
A: No, virtually every homeowner in the state of Maryland can participate in EmPOWER Maryland and we encourage them to do so! Only members within an ERC community and that have Pepco or Washington Gas as their utility provider (described in Q#1) can receive the additional $5,000 and solar incentive up to $10,000. To participate in Empower Maryland, there are two routes residents can take:
1. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program (HPwES)
Receive up to $7,500 in rebates/discounts: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program
2. *Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD): Receive up to $11,000 in rebates/discounts: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/income-eligible-energy-efficiency-program; https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Residents/Pages/lieep/default.aspx
*must meet low-income qualification in chart below to be considered for LIEEP; if not, then you are considered a market-rated resident and would participate in HPwES.
A: The first step is selecting your contractor to schedule to perform the energy audit (and potentially the actual work) on your home as part of the EmPOWER Maryland participation requirement.
Pepco customers: refer to a list of 30+ pre-approved contractors. The list can be viewed here: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program/overview/participating-contractors
Low-income residents: visit the Maryland DHCD website to pre-apply to schedule your energy audit to be performed.
2. Perform energy audit & receive audit report with prioritized list of measures (PLOM) for improvement recommendations from your selected contractor. This breaks down the recommended improvements and available rebates/discounts to make your home more energy-efficient, comfortable, healthy and safe. This will also provide you with a detailed report on the potential energy savings (kWh and $) you can enjoy by making the recommended improvements.
Homeowners elect the measures they want installed/upgraded to receive funding for and sign a proposal for the contractor to begin work.
3. Selected contractor completes proposed work on your home, install/implement recommended changes and should begin your application for a grant in the Clean Energy Program for you to sign, date and possibly request supporting documents. View our application to view all required documents.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY GRANT
Funds can be used to offset the costs of various energy efficiency and retrofitting measures, and for professional services needed to address barriers and transform to higher efficiency and of renewable energy adoption (solar PV and solar water heater) for the respective property.
Participants of the Clean Energy Program are required to apply to the applicable EmPOWER Maryland incentive program: for market rate applicants, Pepco’s Home performance with ENERGY STAR Program, or for income-qualified applicants, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP).
Grants will be available to offset the costs of measures as recommended by a home energy assessment, to facilitate implementation of efficiency measures - funds may also be used to address challenges that would prevent the adoption of recommended efficiency measures. Upon completion of energy efficiency upgrades, residents in ERC designated communities may apply for solar PV and/or solar water heater grants.
The Clean Energy Program, Energy Efficiency grant award provides up to $7,500 in funds for residential energy efficiency measures, in addition to Pepco and Washington Gas incentives. The maximum grant award amount is $7,500 (for gas and electric incentives), of which $5,000 can be allocated towards electric incentives and $2,500 toward natural gas incentives, and up to 50% of total grant award amount ($3,750) can be allocated towards air sealing and insulation (does not include ancillary equipment like baffles/ventilation).
SOLAR PV GRANT
This grant award, coupled with state energy incentives, aids residents to access the benefits of solar photovoltaic (PV) and/or solar water heater upon the successful implementation of energy-efficiency (electricity and natural gas) measures. It also builds on Maryland and Prince George’s County’s energy-efficiency and carbon reduction goals and will help in making our County more energy resilient, using a holistic approach to break energy and cost barriers.
The incentive amount depends on whether the system is owned by the homeowner or a third-party:
A. If system is owned by the homeowner:
B. For third-party owned systems:
Eligible costs include any parts, component, or accessory equipment necessary to operate and/or install the device. A maximum of 15% of the grant award can be spent on reasonable measures to facilitate the installation of the system on a home (for example, tree trimming). OCS Sustainable Energy staff should be contacted to ensure the measure(s) qualifies.
SOLAR WATER HEATER GRANT
The incentive amount depends on whether the solar water heating system is owned by the homeowner or a third-party.
Eligible costs include any parts, component, or accessory equipment necessary to operate and/or install the device. A maximum of 15% of the grant award can be spent on reasonable measures to facilitate the installation of the system on a home. OCS Sustainable Energy staff should be contacted to ensure the measure(s) qualifies.
ENERGY STAR CERTIFICATION & GREEN LEASING GRANT
ENERGY STAR certified buildings save energy, save money, and help protect the environment by generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than comparable buildings. Further, a building’s energy usage and efficiency are increasingly becoming factors to attract new, and to retain existing, tenants. ENERGY STAR certification can help to increase a building’s value and generate more income when compared to similar buildings.
The ENERGY STAR Certification and Green Leasing (ESGL) grant award seeks to increase the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings and encourage the adoption of green-leasing practices within Prince George’s County. This effort will help support the County’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and attract and retain high-valued tenants in the county.
Maximum award available per application: $150,000
The following incentives are available to qualified applicants:
A: The Energy Efficiency Grant was designed to enhance the already established state-wide EmPOWER Maryland Program for County residents by providing supplemental grant funds to Pepco residents within an ERC.
There are many improvements that can be made in the home to save you electricity, water, money and stress. These typical improvements can be found here: (https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program/overview/whole-house-approach/typical-improvements-whole-house-approach). Air sealing and insulation alone saves on average 12% on your energy bills.
A: During your initial energy audit, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified building professional performs many tests using diagnostic equipment to perform a whole-house energy assessment (or “audit”). This includes a complete inspection and diagnostic tests of your home such as the blower door test to depressurize your home and to identify current potential health and safety measures. These issues must be remedied before any work can be done. The Energy Efficiency Grant can cover up to 15% of the energy improvements cost for applicable health and safety measures.
A: The Quick Home Energy Check-Up is free of charge to utility customers and is less thorough than the Home Performance audit. During the QHEC, the Energy Analyst assesses your home’s energy use by accompanying homeowners on a visual walk-through of their home identifying energy-saving opportunities. He or she also will help customers to begin saving right away by installing energy-saving products such as LED light bulbs, pipe wraps for your electric hot water heater for simple insulation, a showerhead adapter, efficient-flow showerheads, faucet aerators to reduce the amount of water consumed and power strips. Please note, there is no formal energy audit report included with the QHEC so you cannot use this form of an audit that is required to participate in grants in the Clean Energy Program. To learn more about QHEC visit: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/quick-home-energy-check-up-program
In order to be considered for grants in the Clean Energy Program, you must receive a comprehensive energy assessment by a certified professional that uses the whole-house approach. This is performed as a part of the Home Performance audit as the program requires a whole-house audit that deeply analyzes all areas of your home in detail (this includes the mentioned blower door test).
The cost for the whole-house audit is $100 which is a discounted price for current Pepco and Washington Gas customers (normally $400). To learn more about HPwES, visit https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program.
A: Let’s break this down by stages in the application process. For energy-efficiency projects, low-income homeowners receive their energy audits at a discounted rate. Depending on the selected contractor, Market rate residents may have to pay $100 upfront for audits and reports (discounted from $400). Either way, this audit cost to homeowners will be reimbursed as a part of the grant. The Clean Energy Program, Energy Efficiency grant award provides up to $7,500 in funds for residential energy efficiency measures, in addition to Pepco and Washington Gas incentives. The maximum grant award amount is $7,500 (for gas and electric incentives), of which $5,000 can be allocated towards electric incentives and $2,500 toward natural gas incentives, and up to 50% of total grant award amount ($3,750) can be allocated towards air sealing and insulation (does not include ancillary equipment like baffles/ventilation).
A: Absolutely! Regardless of your utility provider, any homeowner in the County can partake in EmPOWER Maryland. In most instances, through your utility provider, you can receive incentives such as rebates/discounts on measures to be installed after receiving an energy audit, rebates to upgrade appliances and HVAC equipment such as your clothes washers/dryers, heat pumps, air conditioner units, pool pumps, smart thermostats and even refrigerators. There are also incentives to save energy on peak demand days, decreasing the amount you are charged on the days that people use the most energy. See below for linkage:
A: Yes, the system must be a rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) system as ordered by the language in the merger agreement that released funds to support this grant between Pepco and Exelon.
A: Yes, you have the power to choose your solar contractor completely! We recommend that you receive quotes from at least 2 solar companies, and we encourage local economic development by selecting contractors from your local community. A great resource for finding qualified solar installation contractors can be found by visiting www.energysage.com.
A: The minimum system size to qualify for a grant is 2.0 kW, but there is no maximum sized solar system that can be added to the roof.
A: The solar grant is both a reimbursement of upfront costs and is paid before panel installation. The grant is paid upon receipt of invoice after your grant prequalification.
A: Right now, condos can partake in a Quick Home Energy Check-up (QHEC). The free service is provided by utility companies as a part of EmPOWER Maryland. Condos nor apartments can participate in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program at this time. In effort to minimize household energy consumption, condos can participate in the Appliance Rebate Program offered through Pepco.