Building Innovation Hub Logo

Funding and Financing

DCSEU: Commercial and Industrial Custom Program

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 — Custom (C&I Custom)

Program summary

The DCSEU C&I Custom program provides financial incentives to owners and managers of large buildings to install or replace equipment in their building with more-efficient equipment for a variety of equipment types. Through this program, DCSEU may also provide account management and no-cost technical assistance to help decision makers design, scope, and fund their projects.

Applicable building size

10,000 sq. ft. and larger.


Projects must involve a facility improvement that results in a permanent reduction in electrical and or/natural gas energy usage. Custom incentives are available for but not limited to: lighting, chillers, boilers, heat pumps, steam systems, insulation, refrigeration, and various building or equipment controls.


  • Incentive/Funding details. Incentives are determined on estimated savings and Market Rate DCSEU yields ($/MWh and $/MMBtu). 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. DCSEU and client/customer enter an incentive agreement based upon estimated savings for evaluated ECMs. Post-work inspection is conducted by DCSEU to verify measures were installed and are functioning as intended.
  • Amount (max, min, average). Min: $1,000 Avg: $15,000-$25,000 Max: $150,000 (per site, per year)
  • Simple payback. Yes, estimate possible by request after scope of work (SOW) has been shared.
  • 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. Ideally the DCSEU works with the client during the design phase to influence, guide, and advise for the most energy-efficient measures to be taken. However, the DCSEU can get involved during any phase of a project, while providing engineering/technical assistance and support to help the client achieve maximum energy and cost savings.
  • Level of effort required. An official audit is not required, but customer must share project scope of work (SOW) and any vendor estimates of savings or energy models, and also have discussions with the DCSEU to inform energy savings estimate calculations. Invoices are normally required, as well as an inspection after equipment has been installed to confirm installation.
  • 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. There are no contractor requirements as customer chooses the contractor.


Additional information

  • Advantages. Measures can be tailored to client’s energy needs and highest-impact areas. Engineering analysis and technical support is provided. Peer-to-peer interaction via DCSEU account managers/engineers and client.
  • Disadvantages. None.
  • Ownership types or organizations are best suited for this program. All ownership types who are electric and/or natural gas utility ratepayers in the District of Columbia.
  • Program fit for customer. Customers seeking technical assistance and financial incentives beyond the capabilities of customer’s staff. Good choice for new construction, major renovation, and system retrofit projects.

Take action

Contact DCSEU at or (202) 479-2222

linkedin facebook twitter

Questions or Feedback?