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A: There are 3 basic requirements for grant eligibility:
*must meet low-income qualification in chart below to be considered for LIEEP; if not, then you are considered a market-rate resident and would participate in HPwES.
A: There are 9 neighborhoods distinguished as being an ERZ:: Bladensburg - East Riverdale; Forestville; Hillcrest Heights - Marlow Heights; Kentland - Palmer Park; Oxon Hill – Glassmanor; Silver Hill; Suitland - Coral Hills; and Woodlawn – Lanham.
Applicants for the Clean Energy Grant can satisfy this condition with the address on record as shown on the recent copy of the electric utility bill. To confirm you are in one of the ERZ communities, you must look up your address by using the ERZ Address Locator: (http://bit.ly/ERZlocator). Please note the ERZ Address Locator is the definitive tool for determining the eligibility of an application. You must drill in to ensure your address is in the ERZ boundary.
A: No, virtually every homeowner in the state of Maryland can participate in EmPOWER Maryland and we encourage them to do so! Only members within an ERZ community and that have Pepco as their utility provider (described in Q#1) can receive the additional $5,000 and solar incentive up to $10,000. To participate in Empower Maryland, there are two routes residents can take:
1. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program (HPwES)
Receive up to $7,500 in rebates/discounts: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program
2. *Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD): Receive up to $11,000 in rebates/discounts: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/income-eligible-energy-efficiency-program; https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Residents/Pages/lieep/default.aspx
*must meet low-income qualification in chart below to be considered
for LIEEP; if not, then you are considered a market-rated resident
and would participate in HPwES.
2. Perform energy audit & receive audit report with prioritized list of measures (PLOM) for improvement recommendations from your selected contractor. This breaks down the recommended improvements and available rebates/discounts to make your home more energy-efficient, comfortable, healthy and safe. This will also provide you with a detailed report on the potential energy savings (kWh and $) you can enjoy by making the recommended improvements.
3. Selected contractor completes proposed work on your home, install/implement recommended changes and should begin your application for the Clean Energy Grant for you to sign, date and possibly request supporting documents. View our application to view all required documents.
Here’s an illustration of the process:
A: Homeowners definitely have the power to choose their energy efficiency contractor! In the best interest of County residents, in order to analyze your home and provide recommended energy efficiency improvements, there is a vetted and pre-approved list or network of certified contractors who have agreed to the program terms and conditions. The first step in participating in both EmPOWER Maryland and the Clean Energy Grant is to select a contractor from the list to perform your energy audit. Currently there are 30+ included on the list. Local economic development is encouraged by selecting contractors from your local community.
This list can be found here: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program/overview/participating-contractors.
“OCS Sustainable Energy does not endorse, sponsor, or otherwise make any representation or warranty with respect to any contractor or the work, materials, or services provided by any contractor.”
A: The Clean Energy Grant was designed to enhance the already established state-wide EmPOWER Maryland Program for County residents by providing supplemental grant funds to Pepco residents within an ERZ.
There are many improvements that can be made in the home to save you electricity, water, money and stress. These typical improvements can be found here: (https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program/overview/whole-house-approach/typical-improvements-whole-house-approach). Air sealing and insulation alone saves on average 12% on your energy bills.
A: During your initial energy audit, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified building professional performs many tests using diagnostic equipment to perform a whole-house energy assessment (or “audit”). This includes a complete inspection and diagnostic tests of your home such as the blower door test to depressurize your home and also to identify current potential health and safety measures. These issues must be remedied before any work can be done. The Clean Energy Grant can cover up to 15% of the energy improvements cost for applicable health and safety measures.
A: The Quick Home Energy Check-Up is free of charge to utility customers and is less thorough than the Home Performance audit. During the QHEC, the Energy Analyst assesses your home’s energy use by accompanying homeowners on a visual walk-through of their home identifying energy-saving opportunities. He or she also will help customers to begin saving right away by installing energy-saving products such as LED light bulbs, pipe wraps for your electric hot water heater for simple insulation, a showerhead adapter, efficient-flow showerheads, faucet aerators to reduce the amount of water consumed and power strips. Please note, there is no formal energy audit report included with the QHEC so you cannot use this form of an audit that is required to participate in the Clean Energy Grant. To learn more about QHEC visit: https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/quick-home-energy-check-up-program
In order to be considered for the Clean Energy Grant, you must receive a comprehensive energy assessment by a certified professional that uses the whole-house approach. This is performed as a part of the Home Performance audit as the program requires a whole-house audit that deeply analyzes all areas of your home in detail (this includes the mentioned blower door test).
The cost for the whole-house audit is $100 which is a discounted price for current Pepco customers (normally $400). To learn more about HPwES, visit https://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program.
A: Let’s break this down by stages in the application process. For energy-efficiency projects, low-income homeowners pay $0 for energy audits. Depending on the selected contractor, Market rate residents may have to pay $100 upfront for audits and reports (discounted from $400). Either way, this audit cost to homeowners will be reimbursed as a part of the grant. The actual work on the home is being funded by EmPOWER Maryland (up to $7,500) and by TNI Clean Energy Grant as supplemental funds (up to $5,000). If the work scope exceeds these amounts, the homeowner would be responsible for the difference in cost.
A: Absolutely! Regardless of your utility provider, any homeowner in the County can partake in EmPOWER Maryland. In most instances, through your utility provider, you can receive incentives such as rebates/discounts on measures to be installed after receiving an energy audit, rebates to upgrade appliances and HVAC equipment such as your clothes washers/dryers, heat pumps, air conditioner units, pool pumps, smart thermostats and even refrigerators. There are also incentives to save energy on peak demand days, decreasing the amount you are charged on the days that people use the most energy. See below for linkage:
A: Yes, the system must be a rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) system as ordered by the language in the merger agreement that released funds to support this grant between Pepco and Exelon.
A: Yes, you have the power to choose your solar contractor completely! We recommend that you receive quotes from at least 2 solar companies and we encourage local economic development by selecting contractors from your local community. A great resource for finding qualified solar installation contractors can be found by visiting www.energysage.com.
A: The minimum system size to qualify for a grant is 2.0 kW, but there is no maximum sized solar system that can be added to the roof.
A: The grant is paid before the solar installation and associated work is completed on your home.
A: Right now, condos can partake in a Quick Home Energy Check-up (QHEC). The free service is provided by utility companies as a part of EmPOWER Maryland. Condos nor apartments can participate in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program at this time. In effort to minimize household energy consumption, condos can participate in the Appliance Rebate Program offered through Pepco.