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Funding Available to Hire Paid Interns


The future of your business relies on new talent and constantly evolving skillsets, but finding, hiring, and training younger employees who are new to the industry can be difficult. That’s why NYSERDA is pre-qualifying prospective interns and covering up to 90% of their wages through the Clean Energy Internship program.

The goal of the program is to help businesses in the energy efficiency, clean technology, and renewable energy sectors create a pipeline of skilled talent that will help them accelerate technological advancements and meet the demands of new and evolving building systems. A variety of roles and skillsets are eligible for this funding, including, but not limited to, engineering, installation, technical sales, marketing, and research. 

To get started, review the application requirements and apply today or learn more about the program, including detailed eligibility requirements, internship requirements, and what to expect from the process and application. 

Application Requirements

  • Business information
    • Legal Name
    • Address
    • Website
    • Federal Employer ID Number
    • Number of Full-time W-2 Employees
    • Business location in New York State
    • Electric Utility Service Provider
    • Existing NYSERDA partnership agreements of contracts (if applicable)
  • Business representative contact information
  • Brief description of the general nature of the internship(s) you plan to offer and how the internship(s) will relate to clean energy.

For guidance materials about applying to the program, review the information here: Clean Energy Internship Program: Business User Guides

Why Hire Interns through the Program?

Investing in your future workforce may be good for your business if you are:

  • Managing skilled employees expected to retire in the near future
  • Having difficulty finding qualified candidates in the energy sector
  • Investing in new equipment, systems, and technologies
  • Looking to support job creation in New York’s growing clean energy economy

How the Program can help your business:

  • Reimbursement for intern wages – up to 90% of intern wages, based on business size
  • Access to a directory of local intern candidates
  • Funding for a variety of intern roles depending on the nature of your business’ clean energy services (e.g., engineering, installation, technical sales, marketing, research). Intern's activities must be connected to clean energy work.
  • Support for flexible intern schedules within a 12-month period and up to 480 hours of intern work (part-time, full-time, flexible internship start and end dates). Note: internship must be clearly distinct from standard, permanent hires to receive funding through the internship program.

How Does The Program Work?

  1. Business applications for PON 4000: Clean Energy Internship Program and PON 3982: On-the-Job-Training Program are combined into a single application, located on the NYSERDA Portal. Businesses may be approved for participation in one or both programs.
  2. Businesses select an intern (bring your own or choose one from the directory of interns who apply directly to the program).
  3. Businesses submit internship applications to hire individual interns through the NYSERDA portal. Internship applications must include a job description, signed offer letter, and details about the internship. Businesses can hire multiple interns through the program (see program details for hiring and reimbursement limits). Internship applications must be submitted no later than 30 days after the intern’s start date to be eligible for funding.
  4. NYSERDA reserves funding for an individual internship upon approval of internship application.
  5. Businesses host their intern(s), providing meaningful clean energy industry experience.
  6. Businesses submit intern payroll documentation to NYSERDA to request reimbursement, and NYSERDA issues payment. 
  7. Guidance on the internship application submission and invoicing processes can be found in the Clean Energy Internship Program: Business User Guides

For guidance materials on program procedures, review the information here: Clean Energy Internship Program: Business User Guides 

Is My Business Eligible?

The program is open to eligible clean energy businesses* that:

  • Are a private for-profit business, private not-for-profit organization, or a local municipality.
  • Have at least two employees who receive an IRS W-2 form and who work full-time (as defined as at least 35 hours per week). Owners/principals of the organization, independent contractors, and interns are not considered to be employees for this total. The two employee minimum requirement is waived for New York State registered minority-owned, women-owned, and/or service-disabled veteran owned businesses and New York City-certified Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise businesses.
  • Are registered to do business and have a formal office in New York State
  • Provide one or more eligible energy services, which include services related to research, manufacture, design, procurement, installation, operation, commissioning, technical sales, etc. in the following areas: energy efficiency, renewable electric power generation, grid modernization and energy storage, alternative transportation, renewable fuels.

*Clean energy businesses are defined as energy efficiency and clean technology businesses, organizations, or municipalities that have dedicated energy efficiency or clean technology positions as an integrated part of their business or organizational practices, including start-up companies or businesses or labor management organizations working on behalf of energy efficiency or clean technology businesses. Eligible businesses must be a private for-profit business (including LLPs and LLCs) or a private not-for-profit business. Local municipalities and counties are also eligible to participate.

Get Started

Get started by reading the full funding opportunity to learn more about how the program works and completing an application.

If you have questions about the program, please contact [email protected].

For guidance materials on program procedures, review the information here: Clean Energy Internship Program: Business User Guides

Program Comparison Summary [PDF]