High Performance Building Incentives Program

April 04, 2022


In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for high performance buildings. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were issued in April 2009 and revised in November 2009. Incentives are available to both in-state small businesses (100 or fewer total employees) and individuals for the construction or major renovation of homes or commercial buildings. Homes must be primary residences in order to be eligible.

The program will offer support for green buildings in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). In order to be eligible for incentives, new construction and major renovation projects must achieve the applicable Gold certification under USGBC LEED or the National Green Building Standard, or at least 3 Globes under the GBI Green Globes system. Buildings must also meet additional requirements in certain categories. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a high performance building
  • Project planning, design, and modeling work
  • Fees for registration and certification of a project
  • Commissioning and enhanced verification of building performance
  • Administrative costs of the applicant to administer a grant

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.


  • Small Businesses
  • Individuals

Loans for high performance building projects for small businesses shall not exceed $2 million. Loans for individual residence projects shall not exceed $100,000.

Grants for high performance building projects shall not exceed $500,000 or 10% of the total eligible building construction/renovation costs, whichever is less.

Loan Guarantees
Grants shall not exceed $2 million for a small business and $100,000 for an individual and have a term of not more than five years. The grants funds may only be drawn upon in the event the grant recipient defaults on its financing and there is a deficiency in collateral for the lending institution to collect upon.
Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.


There is a matching investment requirement of at least $1 for every $1 of program funds awarded. There is a $100 non-refundable application fee due at the time of submission made payable to the CFA. There is a 1% commitment fee on all approved loans. 


Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Pennsylvania
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/high-performance-building-program-hpb/
Administrator: Department of Community and Economic Development
Start Date: April 2009
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Daylighting
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
  • Wind (Small)
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
Incentive Amount: Vary by project, but program generally requires matching funds at least equivalent to DCED funding
Maximum Incentive: Residential loans/loan guarantees: $100,000
Commercial loans/loan guarantees: $2 million
Grants: Lesser of 10% of project costs or $500,000
Equipment Requirements: Projects must achieve minimum certification under LEED, Green Globes, or the National Green Building standard (e.g., Gold under LEED NC); projects must also meet additional requirements in certain categories.


This program has 1 incentives
Technologies: Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind (All), Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Daylighting, Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Wind (Small), Hydroelectric (Small)
Sectors: Commercial, Residential
Parameters: The incentive has a minimum of $500000.00, The incentive has a minimum of 10.00 % of cost


Name: Special Session H.B. 1
Date Enacted: 07/09/2009


Name: Program Information - DCED High Performance Building Program
Organization: Department of Community and Economic Developm
Address: Commonwealth Keystone Building
Harrisburg PA 17120-0225
Phone: (717) 783-5046
Email: ra-dcedcbf@state.pa.us

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.