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Incentives/Policies for Energy Efficiency

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Be SMART Home Efficiency Loan Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/15/2014
Program Overview:
State: Maryland
Incentive Type: State Loan Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Refrigerators, Ceiling Fan, Equipment Insulation, Water Heaters, Lighting, Furnaces , Boilers, Heat pumps, Central Air conditioners, Programmable Thermostats, Caulking/Weather-stripping, Duct/Air sealing, Building Insulation, Windows, Doors, Custom/Others pending approval, Ventilating Fans; Furnace Cleaning/Tuning; Energy Saving Health and Safety Measures
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Maximum Incentive:Maximum loan of $25,000
Terms:Unsecured loans with 3, 5, or 10 year term; interest rate of 4.99%
Installed materials and equipment must be new
Must be installed by a program approved contractor
Funding Source:American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); State Energy Program
Program Budget:$20 million (collective funding for residential, multi-family residential, and commercial)
Web Site:

Note: The eligible technologies listed above are only examples of some improvements that might be supported under this program. Other improvements may be eligible.

Under the Be SMART Homes program, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development offers loans to homeowners for energy efficiency retrofit projects and installing ENERGY STAR products in their primary residence. The program offers unsecured loans of up to $25,000 at 4.99% interest rate for terms of 3, 5, or 10 years. Loans are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Participants must work with a program-approved weatherization contractor to install energy efficiency improvements and weatherization. In addition, in order to qualify for a loan, residents must have a credit score of at least 640, a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less, and have their income level verified.

The applicants must submit pre-qualification form to the Housing and Community Development  (DHCD). After approval, the participants must then select from a list of program approved contractors who will perform energy audit of the home and provide estimate of the project costs.  The installation must be completed within 90 days after the loan is approved by DHCD.

List of energy efficiency measures that qualify for the program, but not limited to include:

  • Insulation in the attic, floors, and walls
  • Hot water system improvements
  • Lighting retrofit
  • Furnace cleaning/tuning and burner repair/replacement
  • Renewable energy systems including solar and geothermal
  • Health and safety items that improve energy efficiency

Qualified ENERGY STAR improvements include, but not limited to

  • Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Central AC Systems
  • Boilers (All Fuels)
  • Water Heaters
  • Refrigerators
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • Ventilating Fans

Separate energy efficiency loan programs exist under the Be SMART initiative for energy efficiency in multi-family buildings and business properties. Please see the program web site for additional details.

This program is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Program. The DOE has awarded over $500 million in federal funds to more than 40 states, local governments, and organizations to administer local programs targeting a variety of building types. Combined, these local programs are expected to improve the efficiency of more than 170,000 buildings through 2013 and save up to $65 million in energy costs annually.


  Program Administrator - Be SMART Homes Efficiency Program
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
Community Development Administration
100 Community Place
Crownsville, MD 21032
Phone: (410) 514-7989
Web Site:
NCSU - home
Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.