Project Financing


Getting Started.

All the best solutions in the world won't get you far if you don't have the capital to get them up & running. Alternative financing, grants, and incentives play key roles in enabling many projects to get off the ground floor.


A few of the options which we can help bring to fruition...

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
- Lease Purchasing
- Tax-Exempt Lease Purchasing (TELP)
- Green Bank
- Conventional


Grants & Incentives:
- Local Utility Incentives
     Dominion Power
     Washington Gas
- State and Federal Grants


Grants & Incentives

Intricate working knowledge of local utility incentive and grant programs are key to maximizing the assistance which these programs are able to provide (and minimizing the capital required to move projects forward). For many local incentive programs, custom incentives are available that require more engineering but are typically far more lucrative than their prescriptive counterparts. Grants also have specific deadlines and application procedures, and sometimes favor certain business types. era building solutions excels in helping our clients to obtain every available dollar for building solution projects.

Example A (Grants & Incentives)

$180,000 Centrifugal Chiller Retrofit with Variable Frequency Drive and updated Controls
Estimated Energy Savings: $38,000 per year.

No Grants or Incentives

Paid by Owner: $180,000
Simple Payback: 4.74 years
IRR (10-yr): 10.0%
IRR (15-yr): 22.1%

Utility Incentives Only

Paid by Owner: $115,000
Simple Payback: 3.03 years
IRR (10-yr): 43.0%
IRR (15-yr): 48.4%

Grants & Incentives

Paid by Owner: $75,000
Simple Payback: 1.98 years
IRR (10-yr): 102.0%
IRR (15-yr): 102.7%

Note: Grants and Incentives are not always available (andat timesare simply unimpressive) for given projects. Your era building solutions representative will take into account the available programs before ever beginning a plan to identify improvements and create a master energy strategy.

Prescriptive vs. Custom Rebates

In prescriptive programs, prescribed incentive values are assigned to given tasks. This is common in lighting and small HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) categories in which a certain fixture or unit retrofit may be assigned an incentive of "x" dollars ($10 per fixture replaced, for example). Custom programs are typically incentivized based on deferred energy consumption (either from pre-application calculation, post-implementation measurement and verification, or both). Incentive values in these categories are often measured in $/kwh (dollars per kilowatt hour deferred in the first year after implementation). 

Performing the necessary engineering to obtain custom rebates does require more effort and come at an increased cost, but in areas such as some Maryland utility territories, custom incentives are able to pay down projects to as low as a 1.5 year simple payback and are often up to four times the value of equivalent prescriptive incentives. Some programs will also assist with the cost of the additional engineering, planning, and measurement & verification (M&V) needed to ensure that these projects are planned and implemented properly. We make the process easy by caring for all of the engineering, paperwork, and communication with utility incentive programs so that you can concentrate on what you to best: your business.


Grant procurement can be a daunting task for those without a dedicated team to perform all of the appropriate paperwork, but grants are often the sole enabling factor for certain project types. In one recent project, a local low-income assisted living committee was able to obtain two grants for a central plant upgrade which otherwise would have been deferred due to lack of available capital. The graph below demonstrates their (very unique) project financial overview with and without the grant money obtained.

How Grants Enable Projects

The client was able to obtain two separate grants for the upgrade of a central chiller plant with a new chiller and cooling tower, making the total out-of-pocket cost roughly $30,000 for a $210,000 project. Energy savings was estimated at roughly $20,000 per year. Keep in mind that most grants do not have this drastic an impact, but every little bit helps in enabling large-scale capital-intensive projects.

Whether you are looking to explore local grant options or simply need energy engineering assistance to help make the case in your existing grant request, your era building solutions team is here to help.


Why Finance?

The short answer? You may not want to.

There are a number of reasons why a project should not be financed—not the least of which being impacts on overall asset strategy and the loss of potential returns—but there are also any number of scenarios in which financing makes sense. With many well-planned infrastructure investments there is a quantifiable expense to deferring investment (wasted energy consumption, increased operating & maintenance cost from aging infrastructure, etc.). If you are faced with pushing a project to a later budget season or simply want to enhance project cash flow, financing may be worth consideration. 

Click "Sally's Project" below for an example comparing various options in a common project scenario.

Example B: Sally's Project (Financing)

Project Cash Flow including Returns from Tax Benefits, SREC Sales, & Energy Savings

Learn More

Whether you are certain that you need to finance your next building infrastructure upgrade or you simply want to know what options are out there, your era building solutions representative will gain an understanding of your business objectives, help you to understand the available options, and bring your goals to fruition by leveraging the grants, incentives, and financing structures which best suit your business strategy. Contact us to learn more.