Be SMART Multi-Family Efficiency Loan Program

May 29, 2019


Note: 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 Multi-Family Program, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) offers loans for energy efficiency improvements in existing multi-family rental properties. The intent of the program is to improve the energy efficiency of the existing rental housing stock in 15 targeted communities (see list below); create and preserve affordable rental housing opportunities; and increase the availability of capital to finance energy efficiency improvements by leveraging other public and private capital.

Program funds will be used to provide direct loans for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency equipment, and to establish loan loss reserve funds to induce private sector lenders to establish loans for the same purpose. Efficiency improvements undertaken must be based on the results of an energy audit performed by a program-approved contractor, but may include measures such as lighting system upgrades, ENERGY STAR rated HVAC system improvements, building envelope improvements, hot water retrofits and replacements, efficient appliances, water conservation equipment, and renewable energy equipment. Loan terms and interest rates are determined on a project specific basis. Borrowers must agree to maintain a specific percentage of rental units as affordable housing for families whose income does not exceed 100% of the median area income. Preference will be given to projects that reserve the greatest number of units for the longest term.

Below is the list of communities targeted under the program. Loan priority is given to buildings located within the city or town limits of a given jurisdiction, and the counties within which these communities are located.


  • Berlin (Worcester County)
  • Cambridge (Dorchester County)
  • Chestertown (Kent County)
  • Cumberland (Allegany County)
  • Denton (Carolina County)
  • Dundalk (Baltimore County)
  • Easton (Talbot County)
  • Elkton (Cecil County)
  • Frostburg (Allegany County)
  • Havre de Grace (Harford County)
  • Oakland (Garret County)
  • Princess Anne (Somerset County)
  • Salisbury (Wicomico County)
  • Takoma Park (Montgomery County)
  • Westminster (Carroll County)

Separate energy efficiency loan programs exist under the Be SMART initiative for energy efficiency in single-family homes and business properties. Please see the program web site for additional details on loan structuring, determined of loan terms, and application information.

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:
  • Equipment Insulation
  • Water Heaters
  • Lighting
  • Chillers
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat pumps
  • Air conditioners
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • Caulking/Weather-stripping
  • Duct/Air sealing
  • Building Insulation
  • Windows
  • Custom/Others pending approval
  • Other EE
Maximum Loan: Not specified
Loan Term: Loan terms generally from 5 - 15 years limited to the economic life of improvements; interest rates vary based on overall cost to the DHCD


Name: Program Administrator - Be SMART Multi-Family Program
Address: 100 Community Place
Crownsville MD 21032
Phone: (800) 543-4505

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.