• 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 Tax Credit

    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.


    Appalachian Power Commercial & Industrial Lighting Program

    Provider: Appalachian Power

    Savings: Appalachian Power offers a cash rebate of $0.05 per kWh to help offset the cost of upgrades for lighting, including LED bulbs, high T5 fluorescent lamps and fixtures, LED high bay, low bay, canopy and parking garage fixtures, and more.

    Qualifications: Effective January 1, 2019, the C&I Lighting Program will accept new projects on a reservation-basis only. All new energy efficiency projects will need pre-approval in order to reserve funds and participate in the program. Once approved, projects must be completed within 90 days. The program will only accept projects that have not begun installation.

    How to get it: To apply for this program, you need to fill out a rebate application available online and either email it to Takecharge-business@clearesult.com or send via mail to: Take Charge Business Program, 3100 West Road, Building 3, Suite 200, East Lansing, Ml 48823. If you have any questions, you can contact Appalachian Power at 1-888-261-4567.

    Appalachian Power Commercial & Industrial Standard Program

    Provider: Appalachian Power

    Savings: Appalachian Power offers commercial customers cash incentives for energy efficiency improvements, in addition to reliable electric service at a reasonable cost to make their businesses comfortable, productive and safe.

    Qualifications: Effective January 1, 2019, the C&I Standard Program will accept new projects on a reservation-basis only. All new energy efficiency projects will need pre-approval in order to reserve funds and participate in the program. Once approved, projects must be completed within 90 days.

    How to get it: To apply for this program, you need to fill out a rebate application available online. If you have any questions, you can contact Appalachian Power at 1-888-261-4567.

    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.

    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.

    Non-Residential Prescriptive – VA

    Provider: Dominion Virginia Power

    Savings: Participating customers will receive rebates for energy efficiency improvements made in their facility, including duct testing and sealing, HVAC system tune-up, and upgrades to refrigeration systems and commercial kitchen appliances. Qualifying customers are eligible for more than one Prescriptive Program rebate per location during the program time period.

    Qualifications: Applicants must be a Dominion Virginia Power non-residential customer and the service has to have been completed on or after August 1, 2017.

    How to get it: Contact a local, participating contractor and have them complete the initial assessment to reserve rebate funding with our program representative. After they install the qualifying energy efficient measures, have your contractor submit a rebate application.

    When to get it: This incentive is currently available.


    Appalachian Power Small Business Direct Install Program

    Provider: Appalachian Power

    Savings: Appalachian Power’s Small Business Direct Install Program assists small businesses with no-cost energy-saving upgrades, plus generous incentives and expert guidance so customers can reduce costs even more. Complimentary upgrades may include LED screw-in bulbs, low-flow showerheads and more.

    Qualifications: Facilities located in Appalachian Power’s Virginia service territory and served by Appalachian Power are eligible if they have a peak monthly demand of 200 kW or less. Customers that are served under the Public Authority or Commonwealth of Virginia tariffs are not eligible. Customers with a peak demand above 200kW are also not eligible.

    How to get it: Customers can call 1-888-261-4567 or email takecharge-business@clearesult.com to schedule a free assessment.

    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 703-392-1763 or via email at commind@novec.com.

    When to get it: The program is currently available.

    Lesson Plans
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    Get your students energized about responsible energy use! In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve created fun, multi-day, SOL-compliant lesson plans to help you teach your students how to understand and conserve energy! They’re classroom-ready and free to use!