Energy Conscious Blueprint

Financial Incentives to Help Design and Build for Energy Efficiency

Maximize your new facility’s energy performance by planning for efficiency from the beginning. Utility energy experts help to identify and integrate energy-saving opportunities into your plans early.

New Construction • Major Renovation • New/Replacement Equipment

In the past, many businesses let budgets dictate the level of technology or advanced building practices they used in construction projects. The result was a lost opportunity. Today, financial incentives and technical assistance allow you to make smart energy decisions that deliver cost savings and better building performance, and they allow you to determine your energy future.

Financial incentives are designed to offset the premium cost of purchasing and installing energy-efficient electric and natural gas equipment. Combining both opportunities, when appropriate, allows you to maximize energy cost savings. Energy efficiency is a proven way to reduce the cost of doing business. 

Thousands of Connecticut businesses have trimmed overhead by installing energy-efficient electric and gas equipment in their facilities:

CNC Software

  • Received a $ 17,517 incentive to offset its investment in high-efficiency HVAC, lighting and pump and motor controls
  • Saves approximately $6,430 in energy costs each year
  • “Any energy-saving measure is certainly worth looking at. If someone’s willing to help you do that, it certainly helps you make that decision.” – Mark Summers, President

West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center
and Avon Health Center

  • Received a $ 49,000 incentive to defray its investment in high-efficiency gas boilers
  • Saves over $ 10,000 in energy costs each year.
  • “Financial incentives provided by the Energy Efficiency Fund made our project affordable, even in a down economy.” – Russell Schwartz, Director of Operations

Financial incentives help get your project completed the right way, the first time. The energy-saving benefits will continue, year after year.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information. 

How Energy Conscious Blueprint Works

Steps to Take Smart Energy Action

Step 1 -

Utility energy experts work with you and your design team (architects, engineers and contractors) to brainstorm and identify energy-saving strategies and equipment for your consideration. You maintain complete control over your project.

Step 2 -

The program uses an incentive strategy. When there is a choice between standard-efficiency equipment and building components or a high-efficiency option that exceeds minimum building code requirements, we evaluate the high efficiency option and propose a financial incentive to offset the higher costs typically associated with premium efficiency design. Find details on current incentive structures for Eversource and UI* in the Forms & Documents section below.  

Step 3 -

Energy Conscious Blueprint program administrators provide the general and technical support necessary – as determined by the size and complexity of the project – to prepare a contract for signature before your equipment is ordered and installed. The agreement details all energy-efficient measures, estimated energy savings and anticipated incentive amounts.

Step 4 -

After the project is completed and the measures are verified, your organization receives the incentive payment.

*UI Funding UNAVAILABLE.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information. 

Who Is Eligible for Energy Conscious Blueprint

Commercial, industrial or municipal customers of any size are eligible. To participate, you must be planning a new construction, major renovation or tenant fit-out project. Those who plan to purchase new equipment or replace existing equipment that is near the end of its useful life are also eligible.

Eversource and UI* customers on a commercial or industrial rate can participate in electric energy efficiency measures.

Customers of Eversource, CNG or SCG on a firm commercial or industrial rate can participate in natural gas energy-saving measures.

Many types of businesses can benefit:

  • Manufacturing
  • Restaurants
  • Hospitals
  • Retail and grocery stores
  • Office buildings
  • Gas stations
  • Hotels

Starting the process is easy. Visit your utility’s website or call 877-WISE-USE. Click the link to your utility below:

Eversource     UI*     CNG     SCG

If you are a Connecticut business and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your utility’s website to see what energy efficiency programs are available to you. Please click here for information on how to contact your municipal utility.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information. 

*UI Funding UNAVAILABLE.

Whole Building Performance Approach

The Whole Building Performance approach uses energy models of the proposed building and an energy code compliant building (called the baseline building), comparing energy savings between the two options. Incentives* are based on percentage of annual energy savings of the proposed compared to the baseline model.

Whole Building Performance Design Incentives

Once an application is received, the Customer, Design Team, Energy Modeler (hired by the Customer), and the Utility agree to pursue the program’s Whole Building Performance approach by signing an Integrated Design Agreement (IDA) detailing the requirements to participate. Design incentives are offered in the agreement to have a brainstorming meeting, assist with the cost of the energy model, and a potential design bonus. The project may also be eligible for Path to Net Zero incentives.

Step 1 - Brainstorm

The Customer, Designers, Energy Modeler, and the Utility brainstorm to define Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs) to be evaluated for cost effective energy savings with an energy model. 

Step 2 - Energy Modeling

The Energy Modeler creates an energy model of a baseline building that meets energy code and program rules (see Whole Building Performance -Energy Modeling Guidelines) and a second energy model incorporating the proposed upgrades in all building systems and envelope.

Step 3 - Report Submission

The Energy Modeler submits a report of the inputs and results of the energy models showing the estimated value of implementing the upgrades in energy usage. The submission is made with the program’s Whole Building Performance Report template and associated files.

Step 4 - Incentive Offer

Based on the results of the model, the Utility offers an incentive to the Customer with an implementation Letter of Authorization (LOA) for installation of EEMs in accordance with the upgraded model submitted.

Step 5 - Construction

The customer has the Energy Efficiency Measure(s) installed as listed in the Letter of Authorization. If significant changes are made, an as-built model may be required. 

Step 6 - Inspection and Measure Verification

The Utility verifies that the listed equipment was installed. The Customer submits any required Measure Verification statements that correct operation was verified.

Step 7 - Incentive Payments 

Final incentive payments will be made to the customer, energy modeler, and designers per the LOA.

Contact your utility to get started!

Eversource     UI**

* Note: Program funding availability is not guaranteed prior to issue of a Letter of Authorization. Program eligibility requirements and rules are subject to change without notice.

**UI Funding UNAVAILABLE.

Become an Energy Modeling Partner

Eversource and UI* want commercial and industrial customers to maximize their energy savings and are offering support for energy modeling on new construction and major renovation projects. By becoming an Energy Modeling Partner, energy modeling firms play a critical role in helping customers design energy efficient buildings. The current Energy Modeling Partners list is available.

Project Eligibility Guidelines

Eligible projects include commercial and industrial facilities that are:

  • New buildings
  • Undergoing a major renovation
  • Additions
  • Tenant fit-outs

Energy models may be completed for projects that:

  • Have at least 30,000 square feet of conditioned area
  • Are in the pre-design, schematic design or design development phase

Qualifications to Become an Energy Modeling Partner

  • 5+ years of experience with new construction and major renovation energy efficiency projects
  • 5+ years of experience with energy modeling

Steps to Apply

Step 1 -

Review the Energy Modeling Partners overview for complete details and follow the Energy Modeling Partners checklist.

Step 2 -

Complete the Energy Modeling Partners application, include the required documentation and submit the application packet to your utility company representative.

Eversource     UI*

Step 3 -

If your qualifications and project comply, your company will be placed on a provisional list until you complete three energy models for projects utilizing the New Construction program that receive Eversource or UI approval. After assessing compliance with program rules and requirements, Eversource or UI will decide whether to add your company to the energy modeling partner list.

*UI Funding UNAVAILABLE.

Prescriptive / Custom Incentive Approach

The Prescriptive / Custom incentives are qualified individually for each energy efficiency measure proposed. 

Prescriptive/Custom Process

Step 1 - Application

The Customer fills out a C&I Energy Efficiency Incentive Application requesting energy efficiency services for the project and agreeing to the terms & conditions of Energize CT’s offerings.

Step 2 - Measure Selection

The Customer, Design Professionals and the Utility select potential Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs) to be evaluated for cost effective energy savings. The Utility issues submission spreadsheets with information needed to evaluate each measure for incentive. See a starter list of potential measures below. 

Step 3 - Measure Submission

The Customer, Design Professionals and Cost Estimators (if applicable) submit the requested items with an ECB Data Collection form for evaluation to the Utility. Follow up requests for information will be issued as needed.

Step 4 - Incentive Offer

The Utility evaluates the submission(s) and issues a Letter of Authorization (LOA) between the Customer and the Utility offering incentives for installation of qualifying EEMs.

Below is only a starter list of Energy Efficiency Measures for your building designs. Contact your utility for additional ideas and support.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

  • High-performance lighting design
  • LED Fixtures
  • Advanced lighting controls

Energy-Efficient HVAC

  • High-efficiency HVAC systems
  • Natural gas equipment
  • Chillers
  • Rooftop/split-system/heat pump/VRF/VRV
  • Advanced HVAC controls
  • Heat recovery

Energy-Efficient Refrigeration

  • Ammonia refrigeration systems
  • Mechanical subcoolers
  • Evaporator controls/compressor controls
  • Oversized condensers
  • High-speed cooler/freezer doors

Energy-Efficient Water Heating Equipment

  • Natural gas indirect water heaters
  • Natural gas on-demand tankless water heaters
  • Heat recovery

Energy-Efficient Process Equipment

  • Plastic injection molding machines
  • Air compressors
  • Commercial kitchen cooking equipment including exhaust hoods, ovens, fryers and steamers
  • Natural gas-fired process ovens
  • Ozone sanitation systems

The Letter of Authorization must be issued before the EEMs are installed for incentive eligibility. 

Contact your utility to get started!

Eversource     UI**

* Note: Program funding availability is not guaranteed prior to issue of a Letter of Authorization. Program eligibility requirements and rules are subject to change without notice.

**UI Funding UNAVAILABLE.

Sustainable Office Design Lighting Program

Eversource and UI** are introducing a new initiative, Sustainable Office Design (SOD), to deliver integrated technical solutions for the leased commercial office market. The SOD program promotes and offers incentives for well‐thought-out, innovative, and controls‐rich lighting designs for tenant improvement (TI) projects. Please see the SOD one pager for a program overview.

Benefits of Program Elements to Building Owners/Tenants:

  1. Simple and predictable $1/square foot (sf) incentive for budgeting and planning purposes
  2. Opportunity to overcome building owner/tenant split-incentive with utility incentive that can be assigned to the stakeholder that pays for the TI fit-out
  3. Quick 1-month turnaround application review timeline that aligns with TI projects
  4. Energy savings from pre-approved lighting and controls performance targets

Technical Design Criteria for SOD Incentive:Resulting Benefits from SOD:
  • Minimum Space Requirement: 7,500 sf
  • Open Office Component: ≥40 percent
  • Partition Heights: <48 inches
  • Lighting Power Density: <.675 watts/sf
  • Control Density: <290 sf/control point
  • Higher Energy and Operational Savings
  • Contributes to LEED and ENERGY STAR Certification
  • Shows Leadership in Sustainability Goals
  • Higher Tenant Productivity & Satisfaction
  • Higher Building Occupancy & Rental Rates

Benefits of Program Elements to Designers:

  1. Helps prevent value-engineering of efficient lighting and control systems
  2. Flexible approach enables creativity in design and does not limit technology options - a target level of performance must be met, but the means of doing so is not prescribed
  3. Quick turnaround of application review
  4. Offers competitive advantage to design firms who bring SOD incentive dollars to prospective clients
  5. Provides a Lighting Designer Incentive equal to 20 percent of the total incentive amount (up to $15,000)*

 Steps to Apply

Step 1 - 

Review the Sustainable Office Design Guide for more detailed information. 

Step 2 - 

Make sure your project is eligible. Review and complete the Sustainable Office Design Program application.

Step 3 - 

Submit your completed application to your utility.

Eversource     UI**

* Note: Only lighting designers who have obtained LC, CLEP CLD certification, or are current members of IALD are eligible. The lighting designer must design, engineer, or install, and not profit solely from the sale of the lighting.

**UI Funding UNAVAILABLE.

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