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:

  • Funding levels will range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $1,000,000 per facility up to 50% of the total project costs.
  • Projects of all sizes will require a formal contract with the Efficiency Maine Trust. Click here for further detail on these larger projects.
  • Applicants must provide a minimum 50% cost share for the project.
  • Incentive awards are capped based on the magnitude of the validated annual reduction in grid-supplied energy (kWh/year). Incentives will not exceed $0.28 per kWh of validated annual reduction in grid-supplied energy.
  • Efficiency Maine will consider new applications until the available program funding is exhausted.

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.