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Environmental Grants, Loans and Incentives

Business Loan and Grants

Environmental Grants, Loans and Incentives

Use the links below to find money to pay for energy efficient upgrades to your facilities, environment-related projects and improvements, and financial incentives that can save you money such as tax credits, tax deductions, sales tax exemptions, property tax exemptions and rebates.

Grants and Loans

  • Financing Energy Efficiency Projects

    Access to capital for an energy-efficiency upgrade need not be an issue. Some upgrades require little funding. For those that do require investment, don't worry; there are many traditional and non-traditional financial resources available. A well-designed upgrade can provide your business a positive cash flow from energy savings while paying off the capital investment for new equipment.

  • For small, inexpensive projects, you may want to use your own internal funds to pay for the upgrade in order to keep your payback period low and return on investment high.

    For larger jobs, financing might be the only way to pay for the upgrade. Fortunately, a variety of sources and mechanisms exist for small businesses to finance energy-efficiency improvement projects.

    It's your business decision to weigh your competing needs for capital versus continuing increases in operating costs for energy. Remember, even a longer return-on-investment on energy efficiency results in affordable comfort, and new, more reliable equipment that will pay for itself with energy savings. Strategic energy efficiency investments are your hedge against the certainty of higher utility bills that you cannot control.

    The following resources can help you find funding information and opportunities for your upgrade:

    Grants, Loans and Financing Opportunities

    For Energy Saving Projects

    • ENERGY STAR Resources : Financial Products and; Service
      Find lenders in your state that provide loans to small businesses interested in making energy efficient upgrades.
    • ENERGY STAR Buildings Upgrade Manual's Financing Section
      Learn about the wide-range financing options available to businesses. Financing is available from small improvements to complete system upgrades.
    • Special Offers and Rebates on ENERGY STAR Qualified Products
      Use this online tool to find special offers and rebates on office equipment, electronics, appliances, and lighting products in your local area.
    • Alliance to Save Energy : Financing Energy Efficiency
      Browse a database of over 60 energy efficiency funds and programs operating throughout the world.
    • Local Government Commission's Funding Opportunities
      Learn about federal, state and local financing and project assistance programs for improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

    For Development Energy Efficient Technologies

    • U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Financial Opportunities
      Grant opportunities for businesses developing energy efficient technologies.
    • U.S. Department of Energy Inventions and Innovations Program
      Offers financial and technical support to inventors and businesses for promising energy-saving concepts and technologies. The program selects technologies to receive grants through a competitive process.

    For Small Business (General)

    • Small Business Financing - Grants, Loans and Venture Capital
      Find information about getting financial assistance for a new or expanding business, including SBA and other government-backed loans, grants, and venture capital.
    • The Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) is affiliated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has offices in all states offering free services to help small firms develop conventional loan applications for loans backed by the SBA.

    Small Business Assistance Programs

    • ENERGY STAR Directory of Energy Efficiency Programs (DEEP)
    • EPA's Small Business Gateway
    • Energy Crossroads
    • National Association of State Energy Officials' State and Territory Energy Offices

    Another aspect of funding energy-efficiency is group purchasing with business association members, other franchisees, etc. to achieve lower unit prices on efficient equipment with volume purchases.

    The Small Business Association of Michigan operates a group purchasing Web site at http://www.sbam.org/ that is open to all small businesses throughout the United States.

  • Green Technology Innovation

    "We are going to solve tough customer and global problems and make money doing it."

    - Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of the General Electric Company.

    Successful businesses not only meet the world's needs, but anticipate them. Innovation is the key. It is the driver of competitive advantage, growth, and profitability.

    Financial and Technical Assistance for Technology Developers

    • Energy TechNet
      This core collection of information and resources is for anyone engaged in developing and commercializing advanced energy technologies.
    • Environmental Technology Opportunities Portal
      Information on government programs that help fund development of new environmental technologies and offers information on existing environmental technologies.
    • National Center for Environmental Research
      Information on funding opportunities for scientific research in the environmental sciences that will improve EPA's scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues.

    Small Business Innovation Grants

    A few federal programs provide grants to small firms engaged in scientific research and development (R&D). The federal government's SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs award a specific percentage of federal R&D funds to qualified small businesses. SBIR/STTR programs encourage small firms to undertake scientific research that helps meet federal R&D objectives, and have high potential for commercialization if successful.

    The following federal agencies award SBIR/STTR grants:

    • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Energy
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Transportation
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    • National Science Foundation

    Case Studies and Examples

    • Green Biz Leaders
      Features hundreds of examples of how companies of all sizes and sectors align environmental responsibility with business success, as judged by independent agencies and organizations.
    • Entrepreneurs Saving the Planet
      Profiles of fast growing small businesses with new technologies that significantly benefit the environment.
  • State and Local Programs
    Locate technical and financial assistance programs available from your state and local governments.

For general information on grants and loans, visit our Small Business Guide to Government Grants and Loans


Use the links below to find information on environment-related financial incentives such as tax deductions, tax credits, property tax incentives, sales tax incentives, lease/purchase programs, rebate programs, sale prices, financial rewards, and more.

  • Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency
    Get information on federal tax credits available to small businesses for making energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency Projects
    Learn how your business can financially benefit from energy efficient upgrades made to buildings, vehicles and equipment.
  • Special Offers and Rebates from ENERGY STAR Partners
    Learn about sales tax exemptions, credits, and rebates available on energy efficient products.
  • ENERGY STAR Quantity Quotes
    Find out how to buy energy efficient products in bulk.

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Environmental Grants, Loans and Incentives