Low-to-Moderate Income Energy Efficiency Grant

September 17, 2021


The Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Maryland Energy Administration Low-to-Moderate Income (“MEA LMI” or “LMI”) Grant Program (Program) has been initially allocated up to $6.5M, subject to funding availability, from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (“SEIF”) for energy efficiency projects. The Program funds (“Funds”) are available to eligible entities that serve Maryland’s low-to-moderate income residents.

MEA LMI grants (Grants) will be competitively awarded for energy efficiency projects that generate significant energy savings and pass on the benefits of the savings to Maryland’s LMI residents. The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) will prioritize projects that maximize energy savings per dollar of MEA investment and the number of LMI residents served.  

In order to ensure an equitable distribution across the State, grant funds are first allocated to each Maryland region based on the number of LMI households located within the respective region. Grants will then be awarded competitively within the applicant pool for each region. Applicants may request any amount up to the maximum level of funding allocated to a region. However, applicants must have the capabilities to successfully implement the amount of grant funding being requested through the Program. Applicants are also encouraged to highlight the scalability of their proposed projects.  
Applications will be evaluated on a regional basis. MEA reserves the right to factor in geographic diversity within each region when evaluating grant applications. Applicants wishing to apply for grants in multiple regions must submit a separate grant application for each region.

New for FY21: Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the MEA LMI program is taking the following actions for the FY21 program cycle:

1. Increasing the simple payback requirements for cost-effective projects to up to 12 years for residential projects and up to 18 years for commercial projects.
2. Increasing emphasis on project feasibility as an evaluation criterion. All project applications should present a clear, detailed description of project feasibility in anticipation of potential COVID-19 related challenges. Applications that demonstrate a feasible plan of action in response to COVID-19 related challenges will be prioritized. Cost-effective projects that clearly demonstrate the ability to be completed by the project construction deadline while in compliance with federal, State, and locally-issued orders concerning COVID-19 will be prioritized by the review team.
3. If necessary, grantees will be allowed to invoice up to 50% of the allowable Indirect Costs at the beginning stages of the project to help support planning, operations and project implementation. 

Explanation: MEA recognizes that COVID-19 has caused significant disruptions and delays to some types of energy efficiency improvements, particularly those focused on the residential sector. Therefore, these adjustments are being implemented by MEA in the FY21 LMI program cycle to help grantees restart residential energy efficiency efforts, provide financial support and flexibility when program participants need it most, and encourage highly feasible work scopes.
Grant Project Period
If a proposed project is selected for an award under the Program, MEA anticipates that grant agreements will be available for signature in Spring 2021.  
All construction activities should be able to be completed by August 1, 2022, with all invoices and project reports submitted to MEA no later than September 1, 2022.  
Equipment purchases and project work cannot begin prior to the execution of the grant agreement between the Grantee and MEA.
Eligible Applicants
The following organization types are eligible to receive funding through the FY21 Program:
● Local governments (counties and/or municipalities)
● Incorporated non-profit organizations 
Note: All proposed projects should include cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades that serve low-to-moderate income Marylanders. For the FY21 program, the MEA LMI program defines cost effectiveness as projects that have an aggregate simple payback of up to 12 years or less for residential buildings and up to 18 years or less for commercial buildings. Simple payback is the time, in years, it will take to recover the initial investment in an efficiency measure through energy cost savings.  
Please visit the program website for more information: https://energy.maryland.gov/govt/Pages/CleanEnergyLMI.aspx 

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Maryland
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site: http://energy.maryland.gov/govt/Pages/CleanEnergyLMI.aspx
Administrator: Maryland Energy Administration
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Lighting
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat pumps
  • Air conditioners
  • Duct/Air sealing
  • Building Insulation
  • Roofs
  • LED Lighting
Incentive Amount: Region based program: allocated based on number of low-to-moderate income households residing in the region
Maximum Incentive: $10,000 with HVAC upgrade per residential home retrofit
$7,000 without HVAC per residential home retrofit
$1,500 health and safety per residential home retrofit
Various amounts for new construction incremental costs
Various amounts for non-residential building upgrades
Equipment Requirements: Appliances should be ENERGY STAR qualified
All projects should comply with the current IECC code
Installation Requirements: Residential projects: Simple payback for the project should less than 10 years
Commercial projects: Simple payback less than 15 years.


Name: Dean Fisher
Organization: Maryland Energy Administration
Address: 1800 Washington Blvd. Suite 755
Baltimore MD 21230
Phone: (410) 537-4000
Email: dean.fisher@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.