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Funding and Financing

DCSEU: Commercial & Institutional Business Energy Rebates

Building Sector:

Commercial Office Hospital Hotel Industrial Institutional Multifamily Affordable Housing Multifamily Market Rate Housing Retail School University

Energy Type:

Electricity Gas

Financial Incentives:



DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)

Program Name

Commercial & Institutional — Business Energy Rebates (C&I BER)

Program summary

The C&I BER program provides prescriptive rebates to small-to-medium sized businesses and institutions. Rebates require written pre-approval and are provided for facility improvements that result in a permanent reduction in electric and/or natural gas energy usage (persisting for a minimum of five years). The program is geared towards small to medium buildings that are renovating, not new construction.

Applicable Building Size

10,000 sq. ft. and larger.


Measures include lighting, HVAC, compressed air, refrigeration, and food service and vending equipment.


  • Funding details. The DCSEU sets Market Rate Prescriptive Rebates quarterly by measure type. Note: Starting on October 1, 2021 DCSEU will no longer incentivize the installation of new gas equipment but will consider efficiency improvements to existing gas equipment on a case-by-case basis.
  • Contract structure. An application is filled out by customer which is reviewed and yields a pre-approval letter with expected rebate and different specifications for each measure that is being installed. The customer has 90 days to complete the project to receive the rebates outlined in the pre-approval letter.
  • Amount (max, min, average). Per unit rebates are established (can be modified each quarter) and other measures are evaluated based on size and efficiency, Max: $50,000 payout for a project.
  • Simple payback. No.
  • Tax and balance sheet. Taxable; W9 is required by the DCSEU for payment.
  • Pairing with other sources. The DCSEU incentive is intended to offset the incremental cost of purchasing more-efficient equipment and does not prohibit the use of other forms of project financing (e.g. DC Green Bank, DC PACE, traditional loan, self funding).


  • When in the project process an application should be started/completed. All projects must be submitted for pre-approval prior to the purchase of equipment. Applications that are not submitted for pre-approval are not guaranteed to receive rebates from the DCSEU.
  • Level of effort required. Low amount of paperwork that is very straightforward; if rebate exceeds $5,000 an inspection is required by the DCSEU.
  • Length of time to receive funding. Once all documentation is submitted, inspection is completed, and the DCSEU Finance team has reviewed/approved, within 30 days.
  • Contractor requirements. No contractor requirements as customer chooses contractor

Other information

  • Advantages. Customer is certain of rebate value before project is implemented. Easier, less time-intensive process.
  • Disadvantages.  Less DCSEU technical assistance than custom offerings.
  • Ownership types or organizations are best suited for it. All ownership types are suited that qualify as electric and/or natural gas utility ratepayers in the District of Columbia.
  • Program fit for the customer. Customers seeking known rebates for efficiency upgrades

Take action

Contact DCSEU at or (202) 479-2222

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