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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

QUESTIONS

What does DSIRE offer?

The DSIRE website provides summaries of renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives and policies established by the federal government, state governments and U.S. territories, local governments, and larger electric and gas utilities in the United States. DSIRE also offers summary maps and summary tables, and filters to help users determine which incentives and policies apply (or might apply) to a specific project. The filter tool allows users to search for relevant incentives and policies by state, incentive type, technology type, implementing sector and eligible sector.

What types of renewable energy incentives and policies are included in DSIRE?

DSIRE provides summaries of incentives and policies established by the federal government, state governments and U.S. territories, local governments, and larger electric and gas utilities in the United States. Incentives and policies that support renewables are divided into two groups:

  • Financial incentives include a variety of tax incentives, grants, loans, rebates, industry recruitment/support, performance-based incentives, feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits (RECs), solar renewable energy credits (SRECs), green building incentives, and certain other types.
  • Rules, Regulations & Policies include public benefits funds, renewable portfolio standards, net metering, value of solar tariffs, interconnection standards, solar/wind access policies, contractor licensing, equipment certification, solar/wind permitting standards, building energy codes, energy standards for public buildings, and certain other types.

The DSIRE Glossary provides a description of the types of incentives and regulatory policies included.

What types of energy efficiency incentives and policies are included in DSIRE?

DSIRE provides summaries of incentives and policies established by the federal government, state governments and U.S. territories, local governments, and larger electric and gas utilities in the United States. Incentives and policies that support energy efficiency are divided into two groups:

  • Financial Incentives include a variety of tax incentives, rebates, grants, loans, green building incentives, and certain other types.
  • Rules, Regulations & Policies include public benefits funds, energy efficiency resource standards, appliance/equipment efficiency standards, building energy codes, energy standards for public buildings, and certain other types.

The DSIRE Glossary provides a description of the types of incentives and regulatory policies included.

What types of federal incentives are included in DSIRE?

Federal incentives included in DSIRE are generally limited to those available on an ongoing basis to consumers, businesses and other end-users. DSIRE does not include federal funding opportunities for research & development, demonstration projects, outreach, or inter-governmental programs.

Does DSIRE distribute news?

Yes! We share updates via Twitter and Facebook. (Look for the small logos near the top of this page.)

Does DSIRE address bills that have not been enacted or regulations that have not been fully approved?

No.

Does DSIRE track incentives and policies for all utilities?

DSIRE tracks relevant incentives and policies for all investor-owned utilities (both electric and natural gas) in the United States. Because there are thousands of electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in the United States, DSIRE’s scope is generally limited to those with more than 30,000 customers. (If your utility is relatively small, contact your utility directly to find out if any incentives are available.)

Does DSIRE track incentives and policies for all cities and counties?

No. DSIRE provides information on approximately 250 incentives and policies established by local governments (excluding municipal utility incentives and policies). Because there are tens of thousands of local governments in the United States, DSIRE’s scope is generally limited to local incentives and policies that are especially innovative, and to municipalities and counties with the largest populations.

Does DSIRE include incentives and policies that promote alternative transportation fuels and vehicles?

No. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center provides this information.

How can I use DSIRE to search for incentives for a specific type of project, such as solar water heating or insulation?

Use the “Apply Filter” tool on the Programs page of DSIRE. This tool allows users to find relevant incentives and policies by state, incentive type, technology type, implementing sector and eligible sector.

How can I find out which states have established a certain type of incentive or policy, such as a tax credit or a renewable portfolio standard (RPS)?

For a quick overview of the availability of a specific type of incentive or policy in the United States, see DSIRE’s Summary Tables and Summary Maps. Or, use the Apply Filter tool on the Programs page of DSIRE. This tool allows users to find relevant incentives and policies by state, incentive type, technology type, implementing sector and eligible sector.

How often is DSIRE updated?

Our analysts typically review and update each incentive at least once a year, and some are updated even more frequently. If you find that a policy or incentive summary in DSIRE has inaccurate information, please use the Contact Us form to let us know.

Whom should I contact about updating, correcting or adding information to DSIRE?

Please contact the DSIRE staff using this form.

Is there an international version of DSIRE?

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, staff from DSIRE and North Carolina State University supported the development of an Indian version of DSIRE. The beta version of the Indian Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy Database (IREEED) can be found at http://www.ireeed.gov.in/. For information about policies and incentives in other countries, these sites could be useful:

Does DSIRE publish a newsletter?

Yes, we publish a quarterly newsletter. Please click here to be added to our mailing list.

How do you pronounce “DSIRE?”

We say “desire.” Others have pronounced it more creatively.