Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge

Based on market feedback, NYSERDA designed the C&I Carbon Challenge to give large energy users greater flexibility in using Clean Energy Fund resources to unlock highly cost-effective carbon reduction 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 to $5 million per successful proposal. 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.

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
  • Multifamily Residential
  • 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) and at least 1.5 MW of the applicant’s electricity demand must be subject to the SBC.


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