Building Cleaner Communities Competition Continues to Accelerate Decarbonization and Economic Development Across the State

May 13, 2024

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced $10 million is now available for carbon-neutral economic development projects as part of Round XIV of Governor Kathy Hochul’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative announced earlier today. The Building Cleaner Communities Competition will provide support to projects that accelerate decarbonization and economic development across New York State. Today’s announcement supports New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050.

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York is actively investing in new technologies, innovations, and partnerships that will help to reduce carbon emissions, including through the design and construction of zero-emissions buildings. This community-centered program continues to help enhance buildings to ensure vibrant sustainable housing, recreation and workspaces for the benefit of all New Yorkers and generations to come.”

The Building Cleaner Communities Competition (formerly called the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development Program), administered by NYSERDA in partnership with Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York Department of State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, provides incentives with focused support for projects located in disadvantaged communities Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. and commercial and mixed-use facilities that are regionally significant, to reduce emissions and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors. In addition, NYSERDA prioritizes investments in decarbonization projects that result in jobs that provide family-sustaining wages and benefits, helping to support and pave the way for the transition to a clean energy economy.

This round of the competition includes funding for commercial, industrial, institutional, municipal, and mixed-use building projects across New York State that are transforming the market. Applicants may apply for incentives toward new construction or existing building renovation that is designed to achieve carbon neutral or net zero energy performance and demonstrates how the approach is replicable and cost effective. Project awards will be up to 60% of eligible costs, or 75% of eligible costs for buildings owned by 501(c)(3) corporations, up to $1.7 million per award. Projects that will incorporate ground source heat pumps for all heating and cooling loads will be eligible for an additional incentive cap up to $2 million. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, July 31, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. Interested proposers can find more information or apply to this program here Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Buildings are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, and modernizing our buildings by integrating energy efficiency and electrification measures in existing buildings will help achieve healthier and comfortable buildings and reduce carbon pollution. Through this program, NYSERDA has recognized a total of 60 projects that have been awarded nearly $70 million in incentives since its launch in 2018. Additionally, since 2021, over half of the projects and 60% of the funding awarded through the program have supported projects in disadvantaged communities Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., as defined by the New York State Climate Justice Working Group, receiving more than $27 million of the $45 million awarded, which is consistent with the State’s requirement for at least 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities.

The 2024 funding round for the Building Cleaner Communities Competition is part of the State’s Consolidated Funding Application Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. (CFA), enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits, and the public to apply for assistance through a single application from dozens of state programs for job-creation and community development projects here Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Funding for this program is available through the State's 10-year, $6 billion Clean Energy Fund and through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40%, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is advancing a suite of efforts – including the New York Cap-and-Invest program (NYCI) and other complementary policies – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050 from 1990 levels. New York is also on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $28 billion in 61 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the State, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 170,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector as of 2022 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with more than 400 registered and more than 130 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of the State's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, 10 Regional Councils were established to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. Learn more at Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

About the Consolidated Funding Application

The Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way State resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple State funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..