Energy Efficiency Incentive Program


The Energy Efficiency Incentive Program, an initiative of the recently launched Green Office Challenge, will demonstrate the utility cost savings achievable from the use of energy saving retrofits and/or operating methods in Houston’s commercial office buildings. The City of Houston will commit approximately $3 million from its Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) as seed funding for the program. Eligible businesses and building owners may apply for funding to make permanent energy efficiency improvements to reduce utility expenses and greenhouse gases.

A certified energy manager must perform an energy audit and make energy conservation recommendations that will, at a minimum, project a 15 percent energy savings in order to be eligible for the program. The City is encouraging a further “stretch” goal of 30 percent energy savings through its Green Office Challenge initiative. The City will provide incentives to offset 20 percent of the up‐front implementation costs (labor and materials), with the incentive ranging from $20,000 to $500,000 maximum per building upon completion of the project.

At least 60 percent of the total grant incentive awards will be set aside for projects under $500,000. At least 50 percent of the grant incentive awards will be set aside for Class B and C buildings. Depending on the energy efficiency retrofit work, the balance of the up‐front implementation costs are expected to be reimbursed to the building owners through the reductions in the applicant’s utility costs within 18 to 48 months following implementation. The City will be measuring these savings through the end of the grant period and extrapolate the savings shown to determine the payback period.


  • Applicants must participate in the Houston Green Office Challenge (HGOC)...REGISTER HERE!
  • Applicant’s building must be a minimum of 5,000 square feet of commercial office space.
  • Applicant must contract with a Certified Energy Manager to perform an energy audit and make energy utilization recommendations for the office building which will, at a minimum, create the energy savings. 
  • The minimum amount of work to qualify for this program is $50,000.
  • Applicant using outside financing must be pre‐approved by the bank of their choice.
  • Applicant may not owe more than $100 in delinquent ad valorem taxes on real or personal property located within the City of Houston and be in good standing with the Federal government.
  • Applicants must agree to follow the Buy American Act Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
  • Applicants must agree to follow, and have all of their subcontractors follow, the Davis Bacon Act.
  • Applicants will be obligated to provide to the City and its designee both pre- and post-installation utility bills, as well as occupancy rates for the same period of time.
  • Applicants may submit no more than 3 applications (one application per building).
  • For an award, applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. DUNS website:
  • Applicants must register with the Central Contracting Registry (CCR)