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Are you looking for financing to launch your clean energy business or to improve the energy systems in your home, business, community or tribe? The Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security has compiled an Energy Incentives Directory which can help you. Here is their list:
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)
A community development corporation and financial institution, CEI offers loans, venture capital and tax credits in the energy sector. CEI’s Green Funds provide loans for renewable energy or environmental products and services businesses. CEI Ventures, Inc. is a socially responsible venture capital fund investing in companies with prospects for sustained growth. CEI’s New Markets Tax Credit Program attracts capital to projects and communities in Maine and nationally. CEI is also authorized to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program.
Efficiency Maine (EM)
EM is a statewide program to promote more efficient use of electricity and help Maine residents and businesses reduce energy costs. It is funded by electricity consumers. Efficiency Maine provides rebates/incentives for home and business use of efficient lighting, equipment and heating systems. It also offers small business energy audits and loans (see FAME) and incentives for installation of certain renewable energy systems. Commercial and Large Scale energy project grants are sometimes available for efficiency improvements. Efficiency Maine also administers Maine PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Loans, affordable financing to help residential property owners make energy savings improvements.
Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)
A quasi-state agency, FAME provides direct loans, including the Energy Conservation Loan on behalf of Efficiency Maine. FAME also issues loan guarantees (insurance) in support of business borrowers and administers the Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit Program, an equity source for businesses. In addition, FAME is able to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program.
Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security (OEIS)
In conjunction with other departments of state government, the Legislature, and private and nonprofit sectors, provides an open and collaborative decision-making environment to create effective public and private partnerships that advance the achievement of energy independence while optimizing Maine’s energy security, economic development, and environmental quality. The OEIS provides information support for businesses, non-profits, government entities and other interested parties to pursue federal, state and private energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy project grants and financial incentives.
Maine Municipal Bond Bank (MMBB)
An independent agency, the Bank provides cities and towns, school systems, water and sewer districts and other governmental entities access to low cost capital through the sale of highly rated tax exempt bonds. Its General Bond Resolution Program, Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund and School Revolving Loan Program are all applicable to renewable energy projects. The Bank also has the capacity to sell Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds.
Maine PowerOptions is a not-for-profit energy-purchasing consortium organized under the auspices of the Maine Municipal Bond Bank and Maine Health and Higher Educational Facilities Authority that serves as an aggregator for Maine's local governmental and non-profit organizations. Our group-purchasing programs are designed to increase the buying power of eligible participant organizations for the purchase of electricity supply and fuel oils.
Maine Public Utilities Commission
Community-based Renewable Energy Pilot Program. The Pilot Program provides incentives for the development of community-based renewables projects. These projects must be “locally owned electricity generating facilities” (51% or more of the facility must be owned by “qualifying local owners”) and must not exceed 10MW.
Maine Technology Institute (MTI)
An industry-led, publically-funded nonprofit corporation providing early-stage capital and commercialization assistance in the form of grants, loans and equity for R&D in firms producing products, processes and services. The Renewable Energy Technology Fund supports the development and commercialization of renewable energy technologies.
New Generation Energy
Community Food Service Efficiency Lending Program New Generation Energy is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit lender making loans throughout New England for the installation of ENERGY STAR rated kitchen appliances with an emphasis on mission-related projects. Eligible borrowers are any business or nonprofit that stores or cooks food. Through the Community Solar Lending Program, New Generation lends to New England businesses and nonprofits, with emphasis on those in low and middle-income communities, who wish to install solar electric and solar water heating systems.
Small Enterprise Growth Fund (SEGF)
Funded by the State of Maine, SEGF is a professionally managed venture capital fund investing exclusively in Maine firms with potential for high growth and public benefit.
Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)
This Washington, DC nonprofit organization offers excellent Intro Energy Finance conferences and courses annually. Private and public sector experts provide information-rich sessions on equity, bonds, incentives, tax credits, PACE and TIF and their application to energy development and efficiency projects. The Intro Energy Finance Booklet of Presentations provided with the course is a sound resource for energy funders and developers.
Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
Comprehensive and continually updated, DSIRE covers incentives and policies for renewables and efficiency in Maine and at the federal level. Rebates, grants, loans, performance-based incentives as well as regulations are covered. Click on the state of Maine for state incentives and for other opportunities, click View Federal Incentives. The most common federal incentives covered are the following credits: Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). Also see information on two bond programs: Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) which is not currently active and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) which can be issued through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank.
U. S. Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
EDA’s current green program is the i6 Challenge, focused on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality. It funds ideas that accelerate technology-led economic development in pursuit of a clean economy. A subsidy of up to $1M is available for proof of concept centers.
U. S. Department of Energy
The federal agency with purview over all forms of energy. Its offices are: Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Energy Information Administration, Fossil Energy, Nuclear Energy, Science and Scientific and Technical Information.
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)
EERE works with business, industry, universities, consumers and inventors. Much of its funding is in renewable energy technology development and demonstration. Funding opportunities shift constantly, so the website should be checked regularly.
Office of Science
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT)
SBIR/SBTT are programs in which federal agencies with large R&D budgets set aside a small portion of their funding for competition solely for small businesses. DOE Office of Science issues an annual fall solicitation for Phase I projects. Topics and research areas include: energy production, energy use, fundamental energy sciences, environmental management and nuclear nonproliferation. Phase I feasibility grants are up to $100,000; Phase II R&D grants up to $750,000 and Phase III may be a grant or contract for a product or process of value to the federal government.
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
In addition to R&D responsibilities, NETL offers solicitations, financial assistance and contractual arrangements to governments, the private sector and universities. The Clean Cities Community Readiness and Planning for Plug-In Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure is an example of grants offered through NETL.
Tribal Energy Program
The Tribal Energy Program provides grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on tribal lands. Eligible applicants can be Indian tribes, tribal energy resource development organizations and tribal consortiums. Solicitations are announced over time. Examples are energy planning and organizational development, feasibility studies, pre-construction and construction activities.
United States Department of Agriculture
The Matrix is USDA’s navigational aide for the many energy related programs across the Department’s agencies and mission areas. Below are highlighted some of USDA’s more common energy resources.
Farm Service Agency
FSA’s Conservation Loan Program can be used to finance anerobic digester projects that have been approved by NRCS. FSA will make direct conservation loans up to $300,000 and will guarantee loans made by commercial lenders up to $1.12 M and can be made in conjunction with grants and other commercial financing.
The Biomass Crop Assistance Program provides financial assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and non-industrial private forest land who wish to establish, produce and deliver biomass feedstocks. Matching payment and annual payment programs are available.
U.S. Forest Service
Woody Biomass Utilization Grants are aimed at using low-valued material to create renewable energy and requiring engineering services. Grants of up to $250,000 are made nationally on an annual basis.
High Energy Cost Grant Program
The Program provides financial assistance for the improvement of energy generation, transmission, and distribution facilities serving eligible rural communities with home energy costs that are over 275% of the national average. Broad eligibility: for-profits, non-profits, governments and Native entities can be applicants.
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
To apply for REAP funding, contact the Rural Energy Coordinator, USDA Rural Development –Maine.
REAP Feasibility Grants can fund energy audits, assistance with renewable energy projects and renewable energy feasibility studies—up to 25% of total eligible project costs ($50,000 is the grant ceiling for feasibility studies). Farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners are eligible.
REAP Grants/Renewable Energy Systems/Energy Efficiency Improvement Program also fund energy audits and other renewable energy development assistance. But, in addition, it provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. Grants are capped at 25% of total project cost and range from $2500 to $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $1500 to $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements.
REAP Grants/Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance provide just what the name implies, with a ceiling of $100,000 and recipients paying no less than 25% of audit costs. Eligibility is greater than for other REAP programs, including: units of State, tribal or local government; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or a public power entity. Program beneficiaries should be farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses.
REAP Guaranteed Loan Program encourages commercial financing of renewable energy projects (bioenergy, geothermal, hydrogen, solar, wind and hydro power) and energy efficiency projects. Through this program, project developers work with local commercial or nonprofit lenders, who in turn can apply to USDA Rural Development for a loan guarantee up to 85 % of the loan amount. Eligible borrowers are rural small businesses or agricultural producers.