Saving Money on New Construction or Repairs
Energy efficiency projects, such as installing fluorescent light bulbs or upgrading an old HVAC, can save schools and synagogues thousands of dollars each year in electricity bills. Although the federal government does not provide any grants or rebates for energy-efficiency projects, the Orthodox Union has helped many institutions (including New Jersey and Maryland Jewish institutions) to secure thousands of dollars in funding to pay for the repairs from state-funded sources. If you have a repair or a new construction cost for your Jewish Day School please contact the Orthodox Union’s Director of Political Affairs Maury Litwack at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you assess if you are eligible for funding.
Energy Efficiency Incentives for Nonprofits by State.
|State||Utility Programs?||State Programs?||Local Programs?||Renewable Energy Incentives?||Top Choice|
|CA||Yes||No||A few||Yes||Utility Programs|
|FL||Yes||No||No||No Sales Tax||Utility Programs|
|MD||Yes||Yes*||No||Yes||Utility Programs via the Empower Maryland Act|
|NJ||Yes**||Yes||No||No Sales Tax||Pay for Performance and Direct Install|
|NY||Yes||Yes||No||State Rebate||NYSERDA Programs|
|PA||Yes||Yes||Many||No||DCED Alternative and Clean Energy Program|
|TX||Yes||Sales Tax Holiday||Houston||No||Utility Programs|
*MD requires utilities to provide rebate programs and to fund them with energy bill surcharges
**New Jersey’s utility company programs are much less generous than those in other states—perhaps because New Jersey has such a generous state-administered program.
- California. The state government provides rebates for nonprofits that generate their own electricity from “green” sources; the size of the rebate depends on the source (solar, wind, etc.) and the amount of electricity generated. San Francisco and Marin County also provide clean energy rebates under a similar program.
- Florida. The State exempts solar panel purchases from sales tax (6%).
- Maryland. The state exempts renewable energy equipment from its sales tax (6%); one weekend a year in late February, some energy-efficient appliances are also exempt from sales tax. The state also has a grant program for the installation of wind-power turbines, solar panels, and solar water heaters. The state has a revolving-door-loan program for nonprofits, but nonprofits with a primarily religious purpose are ineligible for this loan. Most notably, Maryland requires each power company to help its customers become more energy efficiency through the use of incentives and rebates.
- New Jersey. The state exempts solar panels from sales tax (7%). The state has two rebate opportunities under the SmartStart Buildings program: “Direct Install” and “Pay for Performance.” The state also runs an “Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund” for nonprofits eligible under the ‘”Pay for Performance” program.
- The “Direct Install” program is available to nonprofits with a peak energy use of less than 100 kW. This program can provide up to 60% of project costs; learn more here.
- The “Pay for Performance” program is available to nonprofits with a peak energy usage that exceeds 100 kW. This program covers project costs based on the size of the energy savings; learn more here.
- New York. The state offers rebates for solar panels and for solar water heaters that replace electric water heaters. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers a wide range of rebates and incentives for improvements to both existing buildings and planned construction projects.
- Pennsylvania. The state offers rebates and loans on a wide variety of energy-efficiency projects under the “DCED Alternative and Clean Energy Program.” The Sustainable Energy Fund and The Reinvestment Fund also provide loans for energy-efficiency projects.
- The “DCED Alternative and Clean Energy Program” provides rebates up to 50% of $2 million; loans and loan guarantees are up to $5 million. Nonprofits are eligible as “businesses;” learn more here.
- Texas. Many energy-efficient appliances are exempt from sales tax (6.25%-8.25%, depending on locale) on Memorial Day. The city of Houston has an incentive program to pay up to 20% of energy efficiency upgrades to buildings more than 7,500 square feet.