Custom Electric Projects

EM-Electric_Projects-300Maine businesses, nonprofits, institutions and governments are eligible for funding for electrical energy efficiency projects through Efficiency Maine’s Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Custom Program.

Awarded projects include process improvements, HVAC controls, installation of VFDs on motors, chiller and refrigeration enhancements, and pump upgrades. For a list of previously awarded custom projects, click here.


Eligible Projects

  • A measure (or set of measures) at a single facility or campus that increases the end-use electrical efficiency, resulting in at least 36,000 kWh of annual reductions in grid-supplied energy when compared to a baseline.

Ineligible Projects

  • Measures that are eligible for Efficiency Maine’s C&I Prescriptive Incentive Program. This includes the majority of lighting measures, with a few specific exceptions.
  • Projects that have a benefit-to-cost ratio less than 1, as per Efficiency Maine’s Total Resource Cost test.
  • Projects that have a simple payback under one year (after factoring in the Efficiency Maine incentive).
  • Projects that involve measures required by state or federal law or local building or energy codes, or are deemed by Efficiency Maine to be standard industry practice measures.
  • 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.
  • Measures that rely solely on human behavior changes or facility maintenance.
  • Projects for customers that do not have an account with a Maine electric utility.
  • Feasibility studies.
  • Power quality, power factor, and power conditioning projects.
  • Projects that do not result in an overall kWh use reduction. An exception is made for measures that are intended to expand facility use or production and will result in an overall kWh use reduction when compared to an alternative code-compliant, baseline alternative.
  • 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 with an estimated incentive over $200,000 will require a formal contract with the Efficiency Maine Trust. Click here for further detail on these larger projects.
  • Projects with an estimated incentive below $200,000 do not require a contract. However, in signing the application, participants must agree to the Custom Program’s Terms and Conditions.
  • For retrofits of existing equipment, applicants must provide a minimum 50% cost share for the project.
  • For new construction or projects that are deemed a ‘lost opportunity’ by the Trust, such as replacement of a piece of equipment that is at or near the end of its useful life, applicants must provide a minimum of 25% of the incremental cost as measured between the efficient alternative and the industry standard.
  • 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.