Tax Credits for Clean Energy
DOE Renew America’s Nonprofits

The Renew America’s Nonprofits program itself doesn’t offer tax credits but through the Inflation Reduction Act, qualifying nonprofits can now receive direct cash payments equal to the value of tax credits for clean energy projects. There are also existing clean energy tax credits that nonprofits may benefit from, though they wouldn’t receive them directly through Renew America’s Nonprofits

Elective Pay – Cash for Clean Energy

Elective pay allows eligible nonprofits to receive a cash payment from the IRS for eligible clean energy investments. Tax-exempt and governmental entities that do not owe income taxes can now receive a payment equal to the full value of clean energy tax credits.

Tax credits earned through Elective Pay can be combined with DOE grants and loans with some limitations.

Eligible entities must complete a pre-filing registration and then claim the credit by filing a tax return with the IRS after the project or property is placed in service.

Example: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit invests

$1,000,000 in tax-credit eligible solar, battery storage, and EV chargers.

Through elective pay, the nonprofit receives a $300,000 cash payment from the IRS if it qualifies for relevant 30% investment tax credits.

Who is eligible under Treasury/IRS regulations?

Tax-Exempt Organizations

Any organization exempt from income taxes under §501-530, including 501(c) and 501(d) organizations.
Examples include:
  • Social welfare organizations
  • Labor organizations and business leagues
  • Houses of worship and religious organizations
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Homeowners associations exempt under Section 523

State, Local Governments​

States including DC, political subdivisions such as cities and counties, and agencies and instrumentalities of state and local governments such as school districts.

U.S. Territories

U.S. territories and their political subdivisions and agencies and instrumentalities.


Indian Tribal governments, Alaska Native Corporations, Tribal agencies, and instrumentalities.

Public Power

Examples: Municipal electric utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Are Partnerships Eligible?

Partnerships and S corporations are not eligible for elective pay, whether or not the partners or shareholders would themselves be eligible. However, these partnerships are generally eligible for credit transfer which allows selling tax credits to other taxpayers in exchange for cash. An eligible entity that is a co-owner of eligible property through an Grant ownership arrangement with an undivided ownership interest may receive elective payment for its share in the underlying property.

Logo: The Federal Register

See regulations at for more details.

Which Tax Credits are Eligible?

12 of the Inflation Reduction Act clean energy tax credits are eligible for elective pay credits including:

  • Investment tax credit (ITC) for clean electricity, storage, and certain energy efficiency technologies such as geothermal heat pumps (48 and 48E)
  • Credit for clean fuel cell commercial vehicles (45W)
  • Credit for EV chargers installed in low-income or non-urban areas (30C) •
  • Production tax credit (PTC) for clean electricity including renewable energy (45 and 45Y)

See the full list of elective pay eligible credits in the Tax Credit Overview section or at:

How to Claim and Receive Elective Pay?

  • Identify and pursue the qualifying project or activity.
  • You will need to know what applicable credit you intend to earn and use elective pay for.
  • Complete project or purchase qualifying property and place it into service.
  • Determine your tax year, if not already known, to determine when your tax return will be due.
  • Complete pre-filing registration with  the IRS at  Register for elective payment or transfer of credits | Internal Revenue Service (
  • IRS will provide you with a registration number for each applicable credit property.
  • File your tax return by the due date (or extended due date)
  • Provide registration number(s) on your tax return.
  • Use Form 990-T and the appropriate form for the underlying credit.
  • Payment will be received after the return is processed.

How are Credits Different Than Other DOE Grants?

  • Tax credits are generally not competitively awarded. * There is no review, ranking, or selection and rejection of specific applications. A project only needs to meet the criteria for the specific credit to be eligible.
  • Tax credits generally can be combined with other sources of DOE and federal financial assistance under Treasury/IRS proposed regulations**
  • Tax credits are earned after the project is complete. Unlike grants, tax credits are not issued up front

*The 48C and 48(e) tax credits have limited allocations and are administered by DOE in coordination with IRS through an application process **The combined value of a grant and tax credit cannot exceed the total cost of a project

Investment Tax Credit Stacking

Tax credit bonuses can stack with the underlying tax credit creating significant opportunity for eligible projects.


1 MW community solar facility costing $1 million could earn a 70% tax credit worth $700,000 if eligible for all applicable tax credit and bonuses If it is owned by an applicable tax-exempt entity, this could be a direct cash payment from the IRS.

Up to 70% Total Tax Credit!

Domestic Content and Elective Pay for Clean Electricity and Storage

Clean electricity and storage projects starting construction in 2024 or later must meet one of these criteria to be eligible for the full value of elective pay:

  1. Capacity under 1 MW-ac
  2. Meets domestic content criteria (same as for 10% bonus)
  3. Qualifies for at least one of two exceptions:
    1. Inclusion of domestically produced steel, iron, or manufactured products would increase project costs more than 25%; or
    2. Such inputs are not produced in the United States in “sufficient and reasonably available quantities or of a satisfactory quality”

Need Help Understanding Clean Energy Credits? Contact Biz-Reps

Biz-Reps makes it easy to understand tax credits and how they apply to your organization. To see if you are eligible for the tax credits discussed above simply call +1-563-293-6484 or click the contact us button below.

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