Commercial Energy-Saving Incentives

The information below provides details on federal, state and utility company incentives available to Virginia businesses to help offset purchase and installation costs of energy efficiency upgrades and equipment. The federal incentives listed can also help you reduce your organization’s federal income taxes.

Please note that federal tax incentives paid through credits on your annual federal tax filings will require using the Internal Revenue Service’s 2015 forms. Click on the links below to expand details about each incentive.

Renewable Energy Rebates

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Provider: Federal Internal Revenue Service

Savings: The tax credits are for 30% of the cost of the system. For systems installed before January 1st, 2009, the maximum credit for individuals is $2,000 for photovoltaic systems and $2,000 for solar water heating systems. Systems installed after December 31, 2008 are not subject to a cap.

Qualifications: Businesses are eligible for tax credits for qualified solar water heating and photovoltaic systems, and for certain solar lighting systems. Qualifying equipment will either use solar energy to generate electricity, to heat/cool or provide hot water to a structure, or will use solar energy to illuminate the inside of a building by means of fiber-optic distributed sunlight.

How to get it: For corporate taxpayers, use Form 3468 for Commercial Solar Incentives (Investment Credit).

When to get it: The credits are available for systems “placed in service” between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2016.

Combined Heat and Power Property Tax Incentive

Provider: Federal Internal Revenue Service

Savings: Businesses can qualify for a 10% investment tax credit. The incentive can also be applied to the alternative minimum tax.

Qualifications: The 10% investment tax credit for CHP property is applicable to only the first 15MW of CHP property. CHP system owners/users cannot take the credit until the year that the system is operational. To qualify, a CHP system must be 60% efficient, produce at least 20% of its useful energy as electricity and at least another 20% as useful thermal energy.

How to get it: Use Form 3468 for Investment Credit.

When to get it: The system must be placed into service from October 4, 2008, through December 31, 2016.

Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)

Provider: Federal Internal Revenue Service

Savings: The tax credit amount is 1.5¢/kWh for some technologies — and half of that amount for others — for electricity generated by qualified energy resources and sold by the taxpayer to an unrelated person during the taxable year. The rules governing the PTC vary by resource and facility type. Follow this link to view an outline of the eligibility window and credit amounts.

Qualifications: Eligible renewable technologies include: landfill gas, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, municipal solid waste, hydrokinetic power (i.e., Flowing Water), anaerobic digestion, small hydroelectric, tidal energy, wave energy, ocean thermal.

How to get it: The credit is claimed by completing Form 8835, “Renewable Electricity Production Credit,” and Form 3800, “General Business Credit.”

When to get it: The duration of the credit is generally 10 years after the date the facility is placed in service, but there are two exceptions:

  • Open-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation hydro, landfill gas and municipal solid waste combustion facilities placed into service after October 22, 2004, and before enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, on August 8, 2005, are only eligible for the credit for a five-year period.
  • Open-loop biomass facilities placed in service before October 22, 2004, are eligible for a five-year period beginning January 1, 2005.

Solar Energy Equipment Tax Exemption

Provider: Virginia Department of Taxation

Savings: Participating counties, cities, or towns may exempt or partially exempt solar energy equipment from local property taxes.

Qualifications: Certified solar energy items are defined as any “property, including real and personal property, equipment, facilities, and devices which use solar energy that would otherwise require a conventional source of energy.” Eligible technologies include passive solar space heat, active solar water heat, active solar space heat, solar thermal electricity, and photovoltaics.

How to get it: Contact your local tax office. Localities offering exemptions include: Albemarle, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Hampton, Hanover, Harrisonburg, Henrico, Isle of Wight, King and Queen, Lexington, Loudoun, Prince William, Roanoke, Spotsylvania, Warrenton, Winchester, and Wise.

When to get it: This program is currently active in the listed localities.

Efficiency Equipment & Building Improvements & Upgrades

Columbia Gas of Virginia WarmWise Attic Insulation Rebate

Provider: Columbia Gas of Virginia

Savings: Business customers receive rebates of $.13 per square foot installed up to $125 per unit or facility.

Qualifications: Customers must have a current insulation rating of R-0 to R-19. Final insulation level must be R-38 or higher.

How to get it: Contact Columbia Gas to qualify.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.

Columbia Gas of Virginia WarmWise Boiler Controls Rebate

Provider: Columbia Gas of Virginia

Savings: Receive a rebate of $250 per unit.

Qualifications: Business customers must install boiler outside air reset controls. Offered to qualifying business customers only.

How to get it: Contact Columbia Gas to qualify.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.

Columbia Gas of Virginia WarmWise High-Efficiency Pre-Rinse Spray Valve Rebate

Provider: Columbia Gas of Virginia

Savings: Business customers receive a free pre-rinse spray valve that can save up to $1,300 on energy bills per year.

Qualifications: Offered to qualifying business customers only.

How to get it: Business customers can fill out a free spray valve voucher to receive the rebate. For more information, contact Columbia Gas.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.

Commercial Building Tax Incentive

Provider: Federal Internal Revenue Service

Savings: Owners or tenants of new or existing commercial buildings can qualify for a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot.

Qualifications: New or existing commercial buildings that are constructed or reconstructed to save at least 50% of the heating, cooling, ventilation, water heating, and interior lighting energy cost of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001 are eligible for deductions. Partial deductions of $.60 per square foot can be taken for improvements to one of three building systems that reduce total heating, cooling, ventilation, water heating and interior lighting energy use by a certain percentage below ASHRAE 90.1-2001.

How to get it: Taxpayers should include the amount of the deduction in the “Other deductions” line of the tax return, including a statement listing the types and amounts. No special form is required to claim the deduction.

When to get it: This incentive applies to property placed in service after December 31, 2005, and prior to January 1, 2014.

Custom$ave Energy Efficiency Rebates for Businesses

Provider: Danville Utilities

Savings: Commercial and industrial customers can earn a rebate of between $50 – $175 per kilowatt (kW) reduction in electric demand. Businesses can also receive $0.15 per square foot of insulation added to your attic or ceiling, $0.35 per square foot of insulation added to exterior walls and $0.30 per square foot added to floors or crawlspaces.

Qualifications: All commercial and industrial electric customers served by Danville Utilities are eligible to apply for Custom$ave rebates. Energy efficiency projects must achieve a minimum electric demand reduction of one kilowatt (kW) or control at least one kW of the commercial facility’s electric load to qualify for a rebate.Installation or service must have occurred within the past 90 days of rebate application submission.

How to get it: Qualifying customers should contact Meagan Baker, Key Accounts Manager, at (434) 857-3312 or via e-mail to discuss projects or questions. Danville Utilities will schedule a preliminary energy analysis or discuss your project details, including the scope of work, quantified energy savings and project costs. For program eligibility details and full terms & conditions, click here. See the rebate application for lighting projects, commercial HVAC and commercial insulation.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.Rebate funding is limited and is offered on a first-come first-served basis.

Dominion Energy Virginia Non-Residential Distributed Generation Program

Provider: Dominion Energy Virginia

Savings: Participating customers will receive an incentive to use their on-site backup generation to reduce consumption of electricity when electrical demand is high. Customers operate their on-site backup generation to supply part or all of their electrical needs during load control events. These events typically last 4-6 hours and are limited to a total of 120 hours per year.

Qualifications: Non-residential customers of Dominion Energy Virginia are eligible to participate in the program if they:

  • purchase electricity pursuant to schedules other than Schedule CS, Schedule SG, Schedule 10, Schedule DP-1 or Schedule DP-2,
  • have use of backup generation facilities of 200 kW or greater that are either owned by such customer or that are subject to a lease that is used as a financing instrument to facilitate the sale of such backup generation facilities to such customer, and
  • agree to allow Vendor to dispatch such backup generation facilities as directed for up to 120 hours per year. Load curtailment enrolled in this program may not simultaneously be enrolled in a demand response program offered by PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

How to get it: Click here to learn more or call 757-284-9187 to determine eligibility.

When to get it: This program is currently available.

Energy Efficient Lighting Systems & Controls Rebate Program

Provider: Dominion Virginia Power

Savings: Commercial customers will be eligible to receive one rebate ($2-$235/fixture) per upgrade of qualifying energy efficient lighting and lighting controls.

Qualifications: To qualify, applicants must be a Dominion Virginia Power customer with a demand of 10 megawatts or less and be responsible for the electric bill, own the building and/or be able to secure permission from the building owner to complete the lighting project. Upgrades/installations must be performed by a participating contractor.

How to get it: Upon completion of window installation, the contractor will complete the rebate application. Form must be submitted within 45 days of completion date.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.

Heating & Cooling System Rebate Program

Provider: Dominion Virginia Power

Savings: Commercial customers will be eligible to receive rebates of $26-$62 per ton for qualifying energy efficient heating and cooling systems. Economizer upgrade rebates are offered at a rate of $98 per ton for dual enthalpy economizers larger than 10 tons and $156 per ton for dual enthalpy economizers 10 tons or fewer.

Qualifications: To qualify, applicants must be a Dominion Virginia Power customer with a demand of 10 megawatts or less and be responsible for the electric bill, own the building and/or be able to secure permission from the building owner to complete the heating and cooling system project. Upgrades must be performed by a participating contractor.

How to get it: Upon completion of window installation, the contractor will complete the rebate application. Form must be submitted within 45 days of completion date.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.

Window Film Installation Rebate for Businesses

Provider: Dominion Virginia Power

Savings: Commercial and industrial customers receive one rebate per project.

Qualifications: Applicants must be a Dominion Virginia Power non-residential customer with average monthly demand of 10 megawatts and is responsible for the electric bill and the owner of the facility or reasonably able to secure permission to complete measures. Must contact a participating contractor to complete the installations.

How to get it: Upon completion of window installation, the contractor will complete the rebate application. Form must be submitted within 45 days of completion date.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.

Professional Energy Audit/Assessment

Custom$ave Energy Walkthrough/ Comprehensive Energy Audit

Provider: Danville Utilities

Savings: An energy audit from Danville Utilities, in partnership with energy experts from North Carolina State University’s Energy Solutions Team, is designed to show you how your business can use energy more efficiently which can mean big savings on your utility bill.

Qualifications: All commercial and industrial customers served by Danville Utilities are eligible to apply for the Custom$ave Commercial Energy Audit Program.

How to get it: To receive an energy audit or for more information, contact Meagan Baker, Key Accounts Manager, at (434) 857-3312.

When to get it: This incentive is currently available.

Dominion Energy Virginia Small Business Improvement Program

Provider: Dominion Energy Virginia

Savings: Participating customers will receive rebates for the installation of a variety of energy efficiency improvements, which include LED lighting, variable frequency drives, prescriptive re-commissioning, and efficient climate control units.

Qualifications: Open only to Dominion Energy Virginia non-residential customers with privately-owned business in five or fewer locations that have not exceeded monthly demand of 100 kilowatts more than three times in the past 12 months, have not opted out of participation, are responsible for the electric bill and are the owners of the facility or reasonably able to secure permission to complete measures.

How to get it: Click here to learn more or call 1-888-366-8280 to determine eligibility. Upon completion of the installations, the contractor will complete the rebate application. Form must be submitted within 45 days of completion date.

When to get it: This program is currently available.

NOVEC Free Commercial Energy Assessment Program

Provider: Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative

Savings: Customers receive a report of facilities’ current conditions with recommendations of cost-saving opportunities.

Qualifications: NOVEC commercial, industrial and government customers may qualify for a walk-through energy assessment.

How to get it: For more information contact NOVEC’s Business Development & Energy Services Division at 703-392-1604 or 703-392-1763or via email at <href=”mailto:commind@novec.com”>commind@novec.com.

When to get it: The program is currently available.