Community Power Chosen as Buildings Upgrade Prize Phase 1 Winner

The U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office has announced the Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) Phase 1 winners, and we were among the teams chosen to move on to Phase 2. Buildings UP offers more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance over several phases to accelerate the deployment of equitable, widespread energy efficiency and efficient building electrification upgrades. Our team joins 45 total teams chosen as Phase 1 winners in one of two pathways: Equity-Centered Innovation and Open Innovation. We submitted our concept to the Equity-Centered Innovation Pathway pathway. Phase 1 winners in the Equity-Centered Innovation Pathway each receive $400,000 in cash prizes. Phase 1 winners in the Open Innovation Pathway each receive $200,000 in cash prizes. All teams will also receive technical assistance to create a pilot plan from their concepts in Phase 2. 

Community Power will partner with Cooperative Energy Futures to upgrade 2,000-plus Minnesota homes by creating access to upfront capital, data integration, and providing community-trusted support through a navigator position.

“We received an unprecedented number of submissions to this prize, demonstrating nationwide enthusiasm for developing solutions that drive scalable building energy efficiency and electrification upgrades across the country,” said Jeff Marootian, principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE). “No two buildings have the same upgrade needs due to variations in size, use, age, location, and more. Phase 1 winning teams developed robust initiative concepts that center equity and will accelerate energy upgrades in a wide range of buildings. We look forward to seeing these Phase 1 concepts take shape in the next phase of this prize.”


Thirty-nine teams in the Equity-Centered Innovation Pathway were selected to move onto Phase 2 of the prize for their concepts to deliver scalable and replicable upgrades to buildings in disadvantaged communities, low- and moderate-income households, and underserved commercial, nonprofit, and public buildings.


We look forward to beginning the planning process and bringing our initiative to life! Learn more about the prize, our concept, and the winning teams:

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