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Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge


Based on market feedback, NYSERDA designed the C&I Carbon Challenge to give large, non-residential energy users resources to unlock cost-effective decarbonization opportunities. C&I Carbon Challenge helps companies and organizations implement their best energy-saving/carbon-reduction projects through a competitive proposal process. Challenge winners will work one-on-one with a dedicated NYSERDA resource on all their proposed projects rather than navigating multiple different NYSERDA or utility initiatives.


NYSERDA’s initiatives and programs can benefit most businesses and organizations across the State, but large energy consumers have unique needs—and solutions—when it comes to increasing efficiency and lowering emissions. Building on New York State’s support for private sector solutions to lower the cost of clean energy, C&I Carbon Challenge gives large energy consumers the flexibility to tap into their in-house expertise to reduce their carbon footprints and control their energy costs.


NYSERDA will award up to $15 million as part of the C&I Carbon Challenge, ranging from $500,000 million to $5 million per successful proposal. $10 million in funding is available to applicants who execute beneficial electrification, carbon capture, manufacturing process emission reductions or low-carbon fuel projects, with $5 million in funding available to all other applicants. Dispersed over three years, large energy consumers will use these funds to execute energy-saving/carbon-reduction projects. Awardees will continue to work closely with NYSERDA to update, refine, and implement their carbon reduction strategies over three years. Each awardee will also receive the benefit of a dedicated NYSERDA project manager and technical specialist to track progress, provide feedback and guidance on measures to be implemented, and collaborate with other NYSERDA partners.

Eligible Projects

Grant funds may be used for any energy or industrial-process related projects that can reduce carbon emissions.  These actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Beneficial Electrification
  • Carbon Capture
  • Low-Carbon Fuel Use
  • Energy Efficiency Improvements
  • On-site Renewable Energy Systems (photovoltaics, wind, or solar thermal)
  • Ground-Source or Air-Source Heat Pumps
  • Battery Storage
  • Other efficiency or renewable energy technologies.

Who Can Apply

Large energy consumers are organizations or businesses with a 12-month average electricity demand of 3 megawatts (MW) or more at one site or aggregated across multiple sites in New York State. NYSERDA welcomes proposals from a variety of sectors, including but not limited to:

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Food and Beverage Processing
  • Health Care Facilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining and Extraction
  • Municipal Facilities
  • Not-For-Profit and Private Institutions
  • Office Buildings
  • Public and Private K-12 Schools
  • Retail
  • State and Local Governments
  • Warehouse and Distribution Facilities
  • Wastewater Treatment Plants

Each of the organization’s participating sites identified in the proposal must pay the electric System Benefits Charge (SBC).

Additional Information

Interested applicants should review the program summary in the CFA Resource Guide Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. [PDF].

How to Apply

Applications are due on July 29, 2022 at 4pm. Apply Online Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Application Attachments

The following attachments are required for all program applicants:

  • Attachment A - Clean Energy Action PlanLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. [PDF]
  • Attachment B - Project Savings TrackerLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. [XLSX]
  • Attachment C - Data Collection FormLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. [PDF]