U.S. Department of Energy, Buildings UP Prize Applications are Now Open for Phase 1

By: U.S. Department of Education

The application period is now open for Phase 1 of the Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) from the Building Technologies Office.

About the Prize. Buildings UP, which was first announced last month, is offering more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across America with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades. Upgrading existing buildings to efficiently run on clean energy will help address climate change. Solutions can be varied and may include adoption of efficient electric equipment and appliances, including heat pumps and heat pump water heaters, as well as enhanced building efficiency through measures such as insulation and air sealing. Together, these efforts will help reduce carbon emissions and energy costs while improving indoor air quality and occupant comfort.

Watch this Video to Learn More

How to Apply. During phase 1, teams will submit their innovative concepts aimed at increasing building energy upgrades through one of two pathways, “Equity-Centered Innovation” or “Open Innovation.” In addition to cash prizes, winners from both pathways will also receive expert technical assistance and coaching to help bring their ideas to life.

Community-based organizations, state and local governments, Indian tribes, building owners, utilities, nonprofit organizations, energy efficiency program implementers, and other organizations are encouraged to team up and apply.

  • Phase 1 Application Period: February 18, 2023 – July 18, 2023
  • Equity-Centered Innovation Pathway: Applies to submissions focused on delivering upgrades to low- and moderate-income homes; small, disadvantaged businesses; and other equity-eligible buildings. Winning teams will receive $400,000 in cash.
  • Open Innovation Pathway: Winning teams will receive $200,000 in cash.
  • Application Support Prize: New and under-resourced teams may apply to win one of up to fifty prizes of $5,000 and 10 hours of technical assistance to help them complete Phase 1 applications. Applications for the Support Prize opened January 18, 2023 and will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are expended. The remaining submission deadlines are March 15, 2023 and April 15, 2023.

For more information and to access online applications for Phase 1 and the Application Support Prize, go to www.heroX.com/BuildingsUP

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