Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program

August 10, 2020


The Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program takes the place of the former Community Energy Loan Program (CELP) and the Energy Efficiency and Economic Development Loan Program (EEEDLP). This program provides local governments, nonprofits, and businesses in the State with an opportunity to reduce their operating expenses by identifying and installing cost-effective energy conservation improvements. It allows borrowers to use the cost savings generated by the improvements as the primary source of revenue for repaying the loans. The program operates as a revolving loan fund where loan repayments from prior awards replenish the fund and allow it to support additional projects. Projects may include renewable installations such as solar hot water or geothermal heat pumps that can meet program guidelines.

Lawton Loans can be made to eligible nonprofits, including hospitals and private schools; local governments, including public school systems and community colleges; and businesses. (Eligible nonprofit applicants may not have a mission that is primarily religious or fraternal.) The Lawton Loan Program has $2,050,000 available for new loans during Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021). The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), which administers the program, is required to reserve a portion of the funding each year for loans to non-profits. For FY 2021, $205,000 of available loans funds are reserved for non-profits for the first three months of the year. Additionally, $1,200,000 of available loan funds are reserved for State Agencies for the first half of the fiscal year. Thereafter, remaining funds will be pooled and offered to all eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

The main qualifying criteria for projects are that they save energy and have a simple payback of 13 years or less. All costs necessary for implementing an energy conservation project can be considered for funding, including the technical assessment, reasonable fees for special services, plans and specifications, and the actual costs of construction. Applicants must provide complete applications that document project costs and estimated energy savings in way that can be validated by MEA.

For FY 2021, from $5,000 to $200,000 is available per loan. The interest rate is set at 1.0% for all non-state agencies and 0% for all local governments for FY 2021 applications. Loan applicants are required to make a contribution to the project although the contribution does not necessarily have to be in the form of cash. Participants begin repaying the loan in the second year after a loan is made, allowing time for projects to be completed and begin generating returns.

Repayments and interest earned by the fund will allow the program to continue making loans for the foreseeable future.  

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Maryland
Incentive Type: Loan Program
Web Site: http://energy.maryland.gov/Govt/pages/janeelawton.aspx
Administrator: Maryland Energy Administration
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Geothermal Electric
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Custom/Others pending approval
  • Geothermal Direct-Use
Maximum Loan: $5,000- $200,000
Loan Term: 13 years or less
Interest Rate: 1.0% for non-state agencies
0% for local governments and their instrumentalities


Name: Md Code: State Government §9 20A 01 et seq.
Date Enacted: 05/13/2008
Effective Date: 07/01/2008
Name: H.B. 1165
Date Enacted: May 5, 2014
Effective Date: July 1, 2014
Name: Bill Analysis- Fiscal and Policy Note


Name: Rachel Weaver
Address: 60 West Street, Suite 300
Annapolis MD 21401
Phone: (410) 260-7655
Email: rachel.weaver@maryland.gov

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.