Residential Clean Energy Grant Program

What is the program?

What projects are eligible?

How do I apply?

To help Maryland homeowners invest in clean energy, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provides grants for solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, geothermal heating & cooling, and wind turbine systems at incentive levels outlined in the chart below.

For more information, read our Goals and Incentives.

  • The property must be a primary Maryland residence.
  • Multiple projects on contiguous parcels of property will be considered one project.
  • A project shall receive no more than one grant.
  • MEA cannot offer grants to a property held in a trust.
  • Applications have to be submitted to MEA within 12 months of installation

For more information, see our Project Requirements.

Please download the application form, complete it according to the provided instructions, and mail it to:

Maryland Energy Administration
Attn: Residential Clean Energy Grant Program
60 West Street, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

For more information, read The Grant Process.


A couple smiles in front of their home, which includes a roof-mounted solar array.

Related programs

Already applied? Check your award status

ATTENTION: Geothermal Installers and Applicants

As of October 14, 2014, geothermal installations that are replacing an existing geothermal unit will no longer be eligible for the $3,000 grant. In order to receive this grant, homeowners must install an entirely new geothermal system with the accompanying loops or wells. Starting on this date, geothermal heat pump replacements will be eligible for a $500 grant.

Please use the new revised Residential Clean Energy Grant Program Application form, which will be posted on October 14, to ensure that your grant request is properly processed.

New Application Procedure! (August 2013)

Try the fastest and most secure way of submitting your residential solar PV, solar hot water or geothermal grant by using the Beta version of the Electronic Application System for the Clean Energy Grant Program.

NABCEP Installation

Solar photovoltaic projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, must be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (“NABCEP”) installation certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant.

Goals and Incentives

Increasing the amount of renewable energy is one of the State’s key policy goals. The Maryland Energy Administration is tasked with achieving the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Currently, the
RPS requires that 20% of energy sold in Maryland in 2022 come from qualified renewable energy resources, with 2% coming from qualified solar resources.

MEA has recalculated the Clean Energy Grant incentives based on several factors including available funds, economies of scale, a desire for more equitable distribution of funds, the cost of clean energy technologies, capacity factors, potential annual production, and data analysis from past Clean Energy awards:

Resource Conversion Technology Installed Capacity Range Flat Award
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) 1-20 kW $1,000/project
Solar Water Heating 10-100 sq. ft. $500/project
Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) 1-10 tons $3,000/project
Wind Please see the Windswept Grant Program page.

Grants are allocated on a first come/first served basis across technologies and are subject to change in amount and existence based on funding availability. A home owner may receive awards that aggregate up to the maximum award per technology per fiscal year (from July 1 of any given year through June 30 of the next).

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Project Requirements

The project requirements are as follows:

  • The property must be a primary Maryland residence.
  • Multiple projects on contiguous parcels of property will be considered one project.
  • A project shall not receive more than one grant.
  • MEA cannot offer grants to a property held in a trust.
  • Applications have to be submitted to MEA within 12 months of installation.

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The Grant Process

Program Changes to One-Step Application Process

The one-step application process can start after your project is installed and will require only 1 set of documents:

  • Application form
  • Proof that the project is paid for in full with a copy of a zero-balance, final invoice
  • Copies of all issued inspection documents, permit documents, etc. as provided by the local authority having jurisdiction
  • A photograph of the installed clean energy system. If the system is a roof-mounted PV or SWH system, the photograph must clearly demonstrate where the system has been installed, with all panels or collectors clearly visible.
  • Historical screening documents (as outlined below)

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Additional Information

Historic Review

Since MEA is required to assess the impact of Clean Energy Grants on historic resources, applicants must “pre-screen” their projects to reduce the odds of applications being rejected on historic preservation grounds. Prominent installations of clean energy systems on historic properties or properties within historic areas will not qualify for this grant program.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact MEA’s historic preservation specialist via email at fred.shoken@maryland.gov.

Projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, have to be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (“NABCEP”) Installation Certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant.

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Announcement Regarding Solar Leasing - November 14, 2013

Over the last four years, the financing practice of solar PV leasing has revolutionized the way homeowners can finance and install clean solar energy systems in Maryland. During this time period, MEA's Clean Energy Grants have reduced in impact to this market, with MEA grants accounting for only a small fraction of total installed costs in late 2013.

Effective today, November 14, 2013, MEA is discontinuing the Clean Energy Grants for leased solar PV systems in the residential market due to the overwhelming success of solar PV leasing, the reduced impact that the grant is having on the market, and direct feedback from the solar industry. This discontinuation will allow MEA to shift available grant funding to other target markets and technologies.

Please send questions or comments to MEA's Grants Manager Chloe Bean at chloe.bean@maryland.gov

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Tax Status of Clean Energy Grants

The Maryland Office of the Comptroller has determined that, based on IRS rules, a state grant is considered taxable income. Therefore, a Form 1099-G will be issued for grants received through the Clean Energy Grant Program. They should be reported as income on federal tax returns.

Update (July 20, 2012): The Clean Energy Grant Program is operating under new program funding authority — the Strategic Energy Investment Fund — which affects how clean energy technologies are taxed. As of July 2012, all clean energy grants may now be taxable at the federal and state level — a change from previous funding authority which exempted clean energy grants from being considered taxable income at the state level. Applicants should consult a qualified tax professional for additional information.

*Regulations for the Clean Energy Grant Program

Proposed Regulations

Emergency Regulations

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Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Electricity suppliers must purchase and retire SRECs in order to meet their compliance obligations under the law, or pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) for any shortfalls in SREC purchases.

To help Maryland business owners realize the benefits of solar energy, Maryland manages the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) program. Owners of solar PV and hot water systems can earn and sell SRECs (equivalent to 1 Megawatt hour) based on the amount of energy their solar system produces on the open market.

In order to begin producing SRECs for the Maryland RPS, a solar generator must apply for certification as a qualifying generator from the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC). Beginning in 2012, to be eligible for use for Maryland RPS compliance, SRECs must come from qualifying solar facilities connected to the distribution grid serving Maryland.

  • The SRECs FAQ document provides additional details about how to register systems and sell SRECs.
  • The PJM-GATS Public Reports web site contains a variety useful data, including monthly weighted average SREC trading prices for Maryland and other states.

New (June 12, 2012): Geothermal Heating & Cooling Systems in the RPS

With 2012 HB 1186, Maryland became the first state in the country to make the energy generated by geothermal heating and cooling (GHC) technologies eligible for the RPS as a Tier 1 renewable source. To qualify, the GHC technologies must meet ENERGY STAR standards and displace electric or non-natural gas heating and/or old and presumed inefficient air conditioning. Homeowners will be eligible to receive Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for GHC systems that are commissioned on or after January 1, 2013.

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Other Resources

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Contact

For more information or assistance, email cegp@energy.state.md.us or call 410-260-7183.