Custom Distributed Generation Projects


Maine businesses, nonprofits, institutions and governments are eligible for funding for distributed generation projects through Efficiency Maine’s Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Custom Program. Distributed generation projects are behind-the-meter generation projects that reduce the consumption of grid-supplied electricity and meet Efficiency Maine’s cost-benefit analysis.

Combined heat & power (CHP) projects are the most common type of distributed generation project completed through the C&I Custom Program. For a list of previously awarded custom projects, click here.


Eligible Projects

  • A distributed generation project that reduces on-site electricity consumption from the grid.
  • A distributed generation project must have an operating efficiency of 60% or greater.
  • The project must result in kWh reductions of at least 36,000 kWh annually
  • The project also must include a meter dedicated to providing 15-minute interval energy data to Efficiency Maine.

Ineligible Projects

  • Projects that have a benefit-to-cost ratio less than 1, as per Efficiency Maine’s Total Resource Cost test. For more information on how this requirement affects CHP projects, please review the CHP Cost Effectiveness Guidelines.
  • Projects that have a simple payback under one year (after factoring in the Efficiency Maine incentive).
  • Projects that export electricity to the grid or to other customers
  • Projects for which the customer (or its affiliate) has made binding commitments to proceed prior to the official award of funding under this Custom Program.
  • Projects for customers that do not have an account with a Maine electric utility.
  • Feasibility studies.
  • Power quality, power factor, and power conditioning projects.
  • Fundraising seed money for projects to be completed and funded subsequently.

Funding Overview: Limited-Time Bonus!

Efficiency Maine is offering, for a limited time, incentives of up to 70% of the project cost for the development and installation of distributed generation projects.  This bonus represents an additional 20% incentive over the typical 50% through the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Custom Program. It is only available until June 30, 2017, or until funds are exhausted.

In order for a distributed generation project to qualify for the bonus incentive, customers must:

  1. Submit a complete application (with all necessary supporting documentation) by May 1, 2017.
  2. Submit a completed Technical Assistance (TA) study by April 1, 2017, if a TA study is part of the project.
  3. Sign a contract with Efficiency Maine by June 15, 2017.
  4. Provide proof of a financial commitment (e.g., a Purchase Order issued for the procurement of equipment) by June 30, 2017.

Funding levels will range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $1,000,000. Incentives will be capped at the lessor of $1 million, 70% of the project cost, or an incentive level that would buy the project down to a one year payback.

Efficiency Maine reserves the right to end the bonus promotion at its sole discretion. All Distributed Generation projects require a formal contract with the Efficiency Maine Trust.

Get Started



Efficiency Maine offers free scoping audits to eligible businesses that have the potential to develop a qualifying project under the Custom Program. These scoping audits provide businesses with the opportunity to get a professional consultation on their facility’s specific energy use and identify cost-effective energy efficiency projects that will reduce operating expenses. Click here to find out if you’re eligible for a scoping audit.



Efficiency Maine offers incentives for Technical Assistance Studies to those customers that have already identified a project but need additional outside assistance to move it forward. To apply for a Technical Assistance incentive, click here.