Zero Energy Buildings Utility Programs

Learn more about zero energy and zero carbon buildings and technologies
through both residential and commercial zero energy building utility programs across the United States.

Utility programs all over the country are leading the way in energy innovation. They are great resources if you are looking for ways to help implement zero energy and zero carbon buildings in your area.
Are we missing any programs? Email Sarah Chaney at [email protected] to be added to the list.

Find a Zero Energy Buildings Utility Program near you!

Residential

Commonwealth Edison: Electric Homes New Construction

Commonwealth Edison’s Electric Homes New Construction program is an incentive program for new construction all-electric single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes, and 2-4 flats. Builders are eligible to receive incentives worth $2,000 per home for achieving best practice energy efficiency goals. Participating homes must meet  envelope air tightness requirements, all-electric HVAC, heat pump water heating, lighting, and appliances. Projects must achieve at least 30% energy reduction compared to the current Illinois Energy Conservation Code. Homes must be rated by a qualified home energy rater following RESNET protocols. Pre-application for the Electric Homes program and details about eligibility can be found here.

Dominion Energy Utah: ThermWise

ThermWise, a program from Dominion Energy Utah, offers a variety of rebates to  single-family builders (one to four units) and multifamily (five or more units) residential construction for installing high-efficiency equipment and building ENERGY STAR®-qualified homes. To be eligible for the Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Bonus of up to $50, a home must participate in Pay for Performance and ENERGY STAR® 3.0 Bonus measures. Homes must also receive DOE Zero Energy Ready certification.

Efficiency Vermont: Efficiency Vermont Certified™ Homes (Residential New Construction)

The Efficiency Vermont Certified Homes program for residential new construction provides one-on-one support to home builders to achieve deep energy savings. An energy consultant assigned to each project provides guidance about advanced insulation and ventilation, high-performance windows, efficient HVAC systems, low-flow bathroom fixtures, and ENERGY STAR® certified lighting and appliances. Builders can earn incentives up to $4,000 depending on the performance of the home. The energy consultant conducts the required inspections (one after insulation but before drywall, and one blower door test once construction is complete) to enable the builder to receive incentives.

Efficiency Vermont: Multifamily New Construction Program: High Performance Track

A second program from Efficiency Vermont, the Multifamily New Construction program’s high performance track, offers one-on-one technical support and incentives of up to $2,700 per unit. The program also offers rebates on appliances, HVAC systems, lighting, air sealing, and insulation. Eligible projects must meet or exceed applicable Vermont residential or commercial building energy codes. An energy consultant works with builders from start to finish to inform the design and recommend energy-efficient approaches.

Efficiency Vermont: Zero Energy Modular Homes

Zero Energy Modular Homes, also from Efficiency Vermont, is a program for homeowners who want to replace their current home with a zero energy modular home. Built in Vermont, the all-electric modular homes are designed to eliminate fossil fuel use by producing as much electricity as they use. Program participants receive guidance from an energy consultant as well as flexible financing options, including low-interest, 30-year financing, and no down payments. They also receive access to income-based subsidies and incentives.

National Grid Rhode Island: Residential New Construction (RNC) and Zero Energy program

National Grid Rhode Island’s Residential New Construction and Zero Energy program offers no-cost services and incentives to help people renovate or build an energy-efficient home. The program offers energy modeling, design assistance, and in-field inspections to help customers achieve energy efficiency goals. The program provides whole-house performance incentives ranging from $200 to $4,000 per home in addition to rebates for qualifying high-efficiency heating, cooling, and hot water equipment. There are two pathways available: Path to Energy Efficiency, which provides support and incentives for homes achieving a minimum of 15% energy savings, and Path to Zero Net Energy, which provides additional support and incentives for builders and homeowners looking to achieve high-performance certifications such as DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home, Passive House/PHIUS, and/or to meet the requirements of the current RI residential stretch code.

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities: New Jersey – Residential New Construction

The Residential New Construction program from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is for homes in conformance with the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specification, which are above ENERGY STAR® v3.1 specification, meet or exceed the 2018 IECC insulation level, and certify to EPA’s Indoor airPLUS Program. The program also has a Zero Energy Ready Home 100% Renewables offering, whereby 100% of the building’s modeled electric site energy usage must be met by renewable energy systems installed onsite at the time of completion of the home. Up to $4,000 in incentives are available depending on the level of efficiency achieved.

NYSERDA: New Construction Housing

NYSERDA’s New Construction Housing program aims to accelerate the design, development, and construction of reduced or zero carbon-emitting buildings. Projects must reduce their energy consumption and per-capita carbon emissions while increasing passive survivability and climate change resilience. NYSERDA offers financial incentives and technical support for the new construction or gut rehabilitation of residential and mixed-use buildings, inclusive of single-family homes, multi-unit developments, multifamily buildings, residence halls, dormitories, and congregate living facilities, exclusive of nursing homes. The multi-tiered incentive structure (which ranges up to $750,000) is intended to promote increased levels of performance, up to and inclusive of NZE performance.

NYSERDA: Buildings of Excellence

Buildings of Excellence is a $40 million competition with monetary awards being given out in each of three rounds. Projects are eligible to win up to $1 million. Buildings must demonstrate how the project will generate interest in and demand for the construction of low carbon and climate-resilient buildings; commit to sharing information related to the project’s design, costs, and performance; exhibit architectural and urban design quality and innovation; and assess and propose reductions in embodied carbon, focused on the upfront supply chain emissions of construction materials.

ZeMod Delaware (Energize Delaware)

ZeMod Delaware provides incentives to homeowners who purchase all-electric ZeMod modular homes. With durable construction and solar electricity, ZeMod homes eliminate owners’ electric and heating costs. An incentive of $16,500 per home is paid directly to the homebuyer at the time of closing by Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility. No-interest loans are available for down payment assistance.

Commercial

Consumers Energy: Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Pilot Program

The Zero Net Energy Pilot Program from Consumers Energy promotes ZNE as a post-occupancy, measurable goal by providing incentive payments to fund a portion of the added costs to reach a ZNE-ready target and the energy savings associated with it. Eligible expenses include engineering support, energy modeling, cost-benefit analysis, commissioning, equipment costs, and post-occupancy measurement and verification. Experienced energy advisors support teams every step of the way. Incentives are paid at two points: prior to construction after functional testing of the building envelope and the installed systems and then after verification based on a 12-month monitoring of the building’s energy use data.

District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer Affairs: Zero Energy / Zero Carbon program

The Zero Energy / Zero Carbon program from the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer Affairs is designed to help projects of all types and sizes meet a zero energy goal. Teams must start by talking to the Green Building Division to get specifics about eligibility and details of the program.

Efficiency Vermont: Commercial New Construction – Net Zero track

The Commercial New Construction program, Net Zero Track from Efficiency Vermont offers technical support for projects of any size. Staff are available to help designers optimize their design to achieve a net zero energy goal. Incentives include support for an energy charrette, energy simulation, and commissioning. Projects must adhere to the Commercial New Construction program efficiency specifications and standards.

Energy Trust of Oregon: Path to Net Zero

Path to Net Zero supports the entire design and construction process, from project kick-off through completion, and occupancy. Energy Trust of Oregon focuses on two key areas: the energy use intensity (EUI) of the building and initial design strategies for fundamental building systems. Teams must be committed to achieving the Architecture 2030 Challenge targets adopted by the American Institute of Architects. Incentives and rebates include up to $6,000 to offset the cost of a design charrette; 60% of the cost of energy studies, up to $40,000; 50% of the cost of energy metering, up to $20,000; $0.40 per kWh, $1.20 per therm in installation incentives; up to $35,000 for solar installation, and $2,000 for Net Zero Certification from the International Living Future Institute.

Mass Save: Passive House multifamily incentive and training program

The Passive House multifamily incentive and training program from Mass Save offers certification and performance incentives to assist builders and developers in achieving Passive House certification or similar efficiency levels. Program participants receive technical support in the form of feasibility studies and energy modeling. Incentives include: up to $5,000 for a feasibility study; up to $20,000 for energy modeling; $500 per unit for pre-certification; $2,500 per unit for certification; and a net performance bonus of $0.75/kWh / $7.50/therm. Participants must hire a Passive House consultant certified through either PHI or PHIUS to conduct a feasibility study and serve as a consultant throughout the design and certification process.

NYSERDA: Net Zero Energy (NZE) for Economic Development

NYSERDA’s Net Zero Energy for Economic Development program supports the design and construction of NZE performance at the facility level, supporting building-specific measures for efficiency, renewable energy, storage, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The program is open to existing buildings and new construction projects working to achieve NZE or carbon neutral performance. Projects must be an energy-efficient facility where the actual annual energy used onsite is less than or equal to the onsite renewable energy produced. Single projects can receive up to $1 million.

NYSERDA: Commercial New Construction

NYSERDA’s Commercial New Construction program is available for eligible customers to design and build projects that achieve carbon neutral ready levels of performance in new construction, substantial renovations, and change-of-use for commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings in New York State. The program provides technical and financial support to applicants and/or their design teams to identify and install energy efficiency, electrification, and carbon reduction opportunities. Support includes up to $5,000 for technical support; up to $200,000 for energy consultant services; and an additional maximum of $750,000 as an energy performance incentive.