Be SMART Business Efficiency Loan Program

October 15, 2014


Note: The stated application deadline for this program (September 15, 2012) has now passed. More information on the status of the program will be posted as it becomes available. Separately, the eligible technologies listed above are only examples of some improvements that might be supported under this program as detailed on the program web site. Other improvements may be eligible and not all potentially eligible improvements will be appropriate for all participants.

Under the Be SMART Business program, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DCHD) offers loans to small businesses and commercial property owners within certain communities (see list below) for the purpose of making energy efficiency improvements. Maryland small business owners, leasehold tenants, commercial property owners, and local municipalities are all eligible for loans under the program. Eligible projects may include mixed use commercial and residential spaces, new construction or rehabilitation, Energy Star rated machinery and equipment, and leasehold improvements. Projects that use other DCHD funding must include energy efficiency improvements in order to be eligible for the Be SMART program. All projects require an energy audit by an approved, certified energy auditor and a minimum 15% energy savings in order to qualify for support.

Two loan options are available under the program. The Be SMART Business program offers loans of up to $50,000 for the purchase and installation of energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, programmable thermostats, ceiling fans, insulation, windows, doors, and other energy saving measures. The Be SMART Business Plus program offers loans greater than $50,000, with a focus on projects that involve buildings exceeding 6,000 square feet or extensive energy retrofits. The Be SMART Business program offers a loan term of up to 5 years, while the Be SMART Business Plus program offers a loan term of up to 15 years. Under both program the interest rate will not to exceed 5%.

Below is the list of communities targeted under the program. Structures must be located within the city or town limits of a given jurisdiction in order to qualify for assistance.

  • Berlin
  • Cambridge
  • Chestertown
  • Cumberland
  • Denton
  • Dundalk
  • Easton
  • Elkton
  • Frostburg
  • Havre de Grace
  • Oakland
  • Princess Anne
  • Salisbury
  • Takoma Park
  • Westminster
  • Baltimore City Arts and Entertainment Districts

Separate energy efficiency loan programs exist under the Be SMART initiative for energy efficiency in single-family homes and multi-family residential 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 Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Maryland
Incentive Type: Loan Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Chillers
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Air conditioners
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • Energy Mgmt. Systems/Building Controls
  • Building Insulation
  • Windows
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
  • Custom/Others pending approval
  • Other EE
Maximum Loan: Be SMART Business: $50,000 (larger loans may be available for extensive retrofits under the Be SMART Business Plus loan option)
Loan Term: Be SMART Business: Loan terms of up to 5 years, interest rate not to exceed 5%
Be SMART Business Plus: Loan terms of up to 15 years, interest rate not to exceed 5%


Name: Michael Haloskey
Organization: Maryland Department of Housing & Community De
Address: 100 Community Place
Crownsville MD 21032
Phone: (410) 514-7237

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.