The purpose of the Carroll County Energy Saver Loan Program (ESLP) is to provide Carroll County residents with low interest rate loans for home improvement, energy efficiency projects that help reduce their energy bills.

This program originated with the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which allowed the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program to distribute $3.2 billion.

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Butterfly photo credit: G. Pat Page


Program Criteria

  • Principal residence in Carroll County
  • Current on property taxes
  • No zoning violations
  • Max loan per household = $15,000
  • Loan Interest rate = 2.5% per year (5-year term)
    • The maximum repayment period for any loan is 5 years. Repayment periods may be set for shorter periods and are at the discretion of the lender.
  • Approved nonrenewable and renewable energy projects
    • Nonrenewable energy projects - Home Energy Audit
      • The audit must be performed by an “Energy Star Certified” Auditor.
      • Homeowners are prohibited from performing the work themselves.
  • The Loan Servicer is Farmers and Merchants Bank
    • Once a Homeowner is directed to the lender to apply for a loan they have 14 days to do so. If the homeowner does not apply for the loan within 14 days they will be placed at the end of the applicant list and another applicant allowed to proceed. The bank determines the applicant’s financial eligibility
  • The lender may determine that you may need to make a down payment on the improvement based on your income and ability to repay the loan.
  • If a homeowner receives a federal or state grant or rebate for a renewable energy system that was paid for by this loan program, that money must be used to pay back the bank in a lump sum. This will allow the money to be available sooner to other homeowners with similar projects.
  • Renewable energy systems are those using wind, solar or geothermal energy.
  • All improvements or renewable energy additions must be completed by a State Licensed Contractor. Homeowners are prohibited from performing the work themselves.
  • The County can’t accrue interest on a federal loan so the interest becomes the bank administration fee.

Approved Project Examples

  • Renewable Energy Improvements:
    • Solar/Photovoltaic roof or ground mounted array
    • Geothermal loop or well type heating and cooling systems
    • Wind turbine energy producing systems
  • Home Improvement Retrofits:
    • Programmable thermostats w/complete energy system
    • Ceiling, wall, attic or floor insulation
    • Whole-house sealing
    • Water heater insulation and pipe insulation
    • Energy Star water heater replacement
    • Electric or gas tank-less water heater(s)
    • Solar hot water heater installation
    • Storm windows and/or doors
    • Air distribution system improvements
    • Other projects found to reduce the consumption of energy in the home

Process to Apply

  • The applicant contacts the Department of Planning, 410-386-5145
  • Proof of the type of energy efficiency product must be given (e.g. work contract, project cost estimate)
    • For nonrenewable energy projects an energy audit is required to determine if the project will make the home more energy efficient and reduce energy bills
  • An Energy Star Certified Home Energy Audit is required to determine what deficiencies need to be corrected in the home and / or establish if a renewable energy system will provide a reasonable return on the investment. Home energy audits must include both blower door tests and infrared camera imagery tests. The Homeowner is responsible for paying for the home energy audit.
  • Upon approval from the County the applicant must contact Farmers and Merchants Bank and apply for a loan
  • Upon approval by the bank 90% of the funds are released for the project
  • Upon project completion of the project must be inspected by the appropriate County official
  • The remaining 10% of the project loan funds are released

Download Application

Contact Us

Carroll County Energy Saver Loan Program
c/o Carroll County Department of Planning
225 N. Center Street
Room 106
Westminster, MD 21157
Administered by:
Carroll County Department of Planning