Existing Facilities Program Frequently Asked Questions

NYSERDA's Existing Facilities Program


Q: What is the Existing Facilities Program?
A: NYSERDA's Existing Facilities Program (EFP) offers incentives for a variety of energy efficiency retrofit projects in commercial and institutional buildings on both a Pre-Qualified and Performance-Based basis.

Q: What is a Pre-Qualified Project?
A: Pre-Qualified projects involve the installation of energy-saving products or equipment that NYSERDA has pre-approved to be included in this program, on a dollar-per-unit basis. Applications are to be submitted within 90 days after project completion.

Q: What is a Performance-Based Project?
A: Performance-Based projects involve assessing current energy usage and submitting a plan for long term energy savings that will result from the installation of energy-saving products or equipment. These projects have a minimum incentive of $30,000, and can not begin until NYSERDA or its representative conducts a pre-installation inspection. Applications can be submitted before or within 90 days of project contracting.

Q: How much funding is available?
A: Over $50 million is available for distribution to New York State businesses through December 31, 2015, or until the funds are exhausted.

Q: What is the source of this funding?
A: The funds are sourced through the Public Service Commission's Systems Benefits Charge (SBC) contributions paid by most utility companies toward a range of industry improvements. NYSERDA's Existing Facilities Program has been established in part to return a significant portion of the contributions submitted by New York State's business owners to those entities, through energy-efficiency improvement incentives.

Q: Can I be notified of program updates and funding availability?
A: Yes. Funding status announcements are sent periodically to individuals who have signed up to be on our email distribution list.

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Eligibility – Types of Facilities

Q: What types of facilities are eligible to participate?
A: Eligible facilities must pay into the Public Service Commission's System Benefits Charge (SBC) as electric and/or natural gas customers through one of the following utility companies:

Utility Company Electric Natural Gas
The Brooklyn Union Gas Company d/b/a National Grid NY*
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.*
KeySpan Gas East Corporation d/b/a National Grid (KEDNY/KEDLI)*
National Grid Generation d/b/a National Grid
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation
New York State Electric & Gas Corporation
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation

* Denotes downstate utility companies.

Q: How can I determine whether I'm paying the System Benefit Charge (SBC)?
A: On a recent electric and/or natural gas bill, SBC would be listed as one of the delivery charges. If you do not see this line item, please contact your utility company, or NYSERDA at

Q: My facility does not currently pay SBC, but will be soon. Can I still qualify?
A: You can apply to the Existing Facilities Program as soon as you have a utility bill showing that your facility is paying into the SBC.

Q: If I only pay SBC on the electric portion of my utility bill, can I qualify for natural gas incentives as well?
A: No. The facility must pay the SBC on the related portion of the bill (electric or natural gas).

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Eligibility – Types of Projects

Q: What types of projects are eligible?
A: The Existing Facilities Program offers incentives towards capital improvements for existing commercial and institutional buildings.

Q: What types of measures are eligible?
A: Eligible measures include, but are not limited to, upgrades to heating and cooling systems, lighting, motors, commercial refrigeration, Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx) and controls.

Q: Are incentives available for LED lighting products?
A: The Existing Facilities Program offers incentives for LED products that are ENERGY STARLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. or Design Lights Consortium approved. Please see the Tools and Resources page for the most current EFP Solid State Lighting (LED) policy.

Q: Are incentives available for green roofs or windows?
A: The Existing Facilities Program does not have specific green roof or window incentives. Tax credits may be available, however. Please see the Database of Incentives for Renewables & EfficiencyLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. for more complete information on local and federal incentives.

Q: Are incentives available for oil efficiency projects?
A: There are currently no incentives available for oil efficiency projects through the Existing Facilities Program. Customers looking to purchase new electric and/or natural gas equipment to replace existing oil equipment should consider NYSERDA's Pre-Qualified incentives.

Q: Are incentives available for Multi-Family Projects?
A: The Existing Facilities Program no longer accepts applications for multifamily residential buildings. Please refer to NYSERDA’s Multi-Family Performance Program (MPP) pages for more information.

Q: I'm outfitting a new space in an existing building. Can I apply to this program?
A: Projects involving new construction, or the retrofitting of an existing structure that will be vacant for 30 days or more, may be eligible for incentives through NYSERDA’s New Construction Program.

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Incentives - Amounts and Payment

Q: How are incentives calculated?
A: Pre-Qualified incentives are calculated on a specified dollar-per-unit-installed basis for equipment that meets certain specifications (see the Pre-Qualified measure worksheets for more information). Performance Based incentives are calculated by determining energy savings and multiplying that number by the applicable rate below. Final incentive amounts are based on one full year's savings.

Base Incentive Upstate Downstate
Electric Efficiency $0.12/kWh $0.16/kWh
Energy Storage $300/kW $600/kW
Natural Gas Efficiency $15/MMBtu $20/MMBtu
Demand Response $100/kW $200/kW
Monitoring-Based Commissioning $0.05/kWh $0.05/kWh


Q: Is there a maximum incentive payment?
A: NYSERDA will invest up to $2,000,000 per facility, based on specific eligibility requirements. Please see the Existing Facilities Program website for more information.

Q: How will incentives be paid?
A: Approved incentives will automatically be paid to the Applicant either by check or through a direct deposit to the Applicant's designated account. (There is no need to invoice NYSERDA for the incentive payment.) NYSERDA will inform both the Applicant and the Facility Contact (if they are different) of the final incentive amount awarded. Any division of the incentive between the Applicant and other entities is completely at the discretion of the Applicant and Facility.

Q: When will incentives be paid?
A: Incentives are issued as a one-time payment after a project has been completed and the post-installation report has been approved by NYSERDA. For projects requiring Measurement and Verification, a percentage of the incentive may be retained by NYSERDA until the anticipated savings have been verified.

Q: Can the final incentive amount be adjusted?
A: Yes. Payment will be based on the final as-built conditions, and if applicable, the adjusted energy savings estimates.

Q: Are incentives considered income by the Federal and State governments?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there any risk that I could I be required to pay back part of my incentive?
A: For most Applicants, the incentive payment will be theirs to keep, as it is a payment and not a loan. In rare cases in which a project requires Measurement and Verification and is found to have significantly underperformed, the Applicant may be required to reimburse NYSERDA for any incentive overpayment. In these cases, NYSERDA would contact the Applicant with further information.

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Program Process

Q: As an Applicant, how can I stay up to date about this program and my application?
A: After each approval stage the Engineering Analysis, Post Installation Report, and Measurement and Verification stage if applicable, notification of estimated energy savings, incentives, and project costs will be emailed to the Applicant and Facility Contact.

Q: Does my installer or contractor need to be pre-approved by NYSERDA?
A: No, all engineering firms and consultants are eligible to apply for Existing Facilities Program funding.

Q: Does NYSERDA recommend specific companies to conduct work for projects funded under the Existing Facilities Program?
A: No.

Q: Can consultant expenses related to preparing the application be included in the project cost?
A: Reasonable costs incurred preparing documentation for the Existing Facilities Program, including Measurement and Verification activities, may be included in the project cost. Please work with the Technical Consultant NYSERDA assigns to your project to determine eligible costs.

Q: Will projects be evaluated for cost effectiveness?
A: Yes. NYSERDA will evaluate projects for cost-effectiveness through a Total Resource Cost (TRC) evaluation prior to issuance of the Purchase Order. Most of the information required for this evaluation will be provided through the Program's application and contractual agreement. Applicants may be required to provide additional information to complete the evaluation.

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Applying for the Program

Q: Once I've determined that my facility and project(s) are eligible, what's the next step?
A: Complete the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), specifying that you have an Energy Improvement project. Incentive payment will be made out to the business or individual listed as the Applicant.

Q: When can I submit my application?
A: Submit Pre-Qualified incentive applications within 90 days after project completion.
Submit Performance-Based incentive applications within 60-90 days prior to the anticipated start date to allow time for processing and a pre-installation inspection.

Q: When is the application deadline?
A: Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis through 5:00 p.m. EST on December 31, 2015, or until funds are exhausted.

Q: What happens after NYSERDA receives my Consolidated Funding Application?
A: The application will be reviewed for completeness, and the Applicant will be contacted to provide any remaining information. When the application is complete, a Technical Consultant will be assigned to your project and follow up with the Applicant about next steps. For those who submit  Performance Based applications, a Project Manager will also be assigned to the project, and an on-site inspection will be required prior to initiating equipment demolition or installation.

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If You Need More Information

Q: I want to make our facility more energy efficient, but don't know where to start. What should I do?
A: If you feel unclear about what types of energy saving measures might be most cost-effective for your facility, please consider participating in NYSERDA's FlexTech Program. This program offers incentives to perform feasibility studies, and can also offer technical support.

Q: I have other questions about the Existing Facilities Program. Who can I contact?
A: Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
- Email:
- Phone: 1-866-774-8818 (Toll Free).

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Last Updated: 09/30/2013