BeSMART Energy Efficiency Loan for Homeowners

The BeSMART Home Loan Program provides financing to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. By replacing and upgrading appliances, heating, ventilation and cooling systems, and whole house envelope improvements – homeowners can save on the utility bill.

ELIGIBILITY

The BeSMART loan is an unsecured loan based on verification of credit and ability to pay.

  • Maryland homeowner
  • Credit score of 640 or greater
  • Debt to income ratio that does not exceed 50%​
  • Energy audit identifies at least 15% cost savings opportunities

LOAN TERMS

Rate is 4.99% APR

Up to $30,000 in financing is available for energy efficiency measures for a term up to 10 years.​

HOW TO GET A BESMART HOME LOAN​

  1. ​​​​Submit an Application – include all required income documentation and get pre-approved on a financial basis.
  2. Submit project specifications - including an energy audit completed by a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified Auditor, scope of work, contractor estimates, and ENERGY STAR® equipment specifications
  3. Complete loan documents - Once the specific project is approved, the loan documents provided by DHCD must be signed and notarized. 
  4. Complete your project – the project kicks off with an initial draw of funds to start work 
  5. Get a final inspection – A DHCD Quality Assurance Inspector will confirm work has been completed to specifications and a final draw will be issued

ELIGIBLE ENERGY SAVING MEASURES​

  • Insulation and air sealing 
  • ENERGY STAR® heating and cooling systems 
  • ENERGY STAR® hot water heating equipment 
  • ENERGY STAR® appliances, roofing, windows, doors 
  • Lighting and controls 
  • Programmable and smart thermostats 
  • Ceiling fans and ventilation fans 
  • Geothermal heat pumps 
  • Solar photovoltaic* 
  • Health and safety costs related to energy improvements ** 
  • Other improvements identified in a certified energy audit

*Financing for solar photovoltaic installation is capped at a 1:1 match to the cost of energy efficiency measures.
**Up to 25% of the cost of the energy measures can be used to complete health and safety improvements that are necessary for the energy improvements – including ventilation, abating asbestos, mold or lead, and code compliance.
Borrowers may be required to pay for any costs not covered by this percentage to complete the project
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HOW TO FIND AN AUDITOR?

An energy audit identifies the cost effective and essential energy improvements for your home – to reduce costs and add comfort.​

  1. If you are a customer of an EmPOWER Maryland utility - check your local utility website for auditors qualified to participate in their rebate programs.
    In the BGE, PEPCO, PE and Delmarva territories – contact the utility to learn about their Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program, where you can obtain a $400 audit for $100.
    BGE: bgesmartenergy.com/residential/home-performance-energy-star
    PEPCO: homeenergysavings.pepco.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program
    PE: energysavemd-home.com/home-performance/
    Delmarva: homeenergysavings.delmarva.com/home-performance-with-energy-star-program
    In SMECO – contact the utility to obtain a no cost audit under their Home Energy Improvement Program, smeco.coop/save-energy-and-money/home-energy-improvement-program​

  2. Check the list of BeSMART qualified auditors on this website

PARTICIPATING CONTRACTORS

If you are a customer of an EmPOWER Maryland utility – you are encouraged to use a Participating contractor in the programs listed above for installing your measures to ensure you maximize available rebates.

For BeSMART, homeowners are encouraged to also choose their weatherization and energy efficiency professionals from the list of eligible providers linked below. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development identified contractors that have a Maryland Home Improvement Contractor license and have met our insurance requirements. Be SMART Approved Contractors​ (PDF) (Excel)

To use a contractor not on the BeSMART list, the contractor must complete an application to the program.

Program Guidance for Network Partners and Contractors

  
  
1  CONTRACTOR APPLICATION PACKAGE.pdf
  
2 HOW TO BECOME AN ELIGIBLE CONTRACTOR.pdf
  
3 CONTRACTOR APPLICATION.pdf
  
4 ATTACHMENT A - ARRA SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS.pdf
  
5 ATTACHMENT B - SUMMARY of ARRA SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS.pdf
  
6 ATTACHMENT C-1 Be SMART Home ENERGY STAR Contractor Reporting Responsibillities.pdf
  
7 ATTACHMENT C-2 Be SMART Home Complete Contractor Reporting Responsibillities.pdf
  
8 ATTACHMENT D - WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN.pdf
  
9 ATTACHMENT D-1 PRE-CONSTRUCTION.pdf
  
10 ATTACHMENT D-2 - POST CONSTRUCTION.pdf
  
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MORE INFORMATION

CONTACT: BeSMART Home Loan Program
Community Development Administration
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
E: BeSmartHome.dhcd@maryland.gov​
P: 301-429-7402​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
BeSMART Home Loan Brochure ​​​