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C&I Carbon Challenge

Based on market feedback, NYSERDA designed the C&I Carbon Challenge to give large, non-residential 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 $10 million as part of the C&I Carbon Challenge, ranging from $2 million 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 10 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
  • Not-For-Profit and Private Institutions
  • Office Buildings
  • Public and Private K-12 Schools
  • Retail Businesses
  • State and Local Governments

Each of the organization’s participating sites identified in the proposal must pay the electric System Benefits Charge (SBC) and at least 5 MW of the applicant’s electricity demand must be subject to the SBC. Please note, all awardees who intend to install solar on-site must work with a NY-Sun participating contractor.

How to Apply

Apply Now

If your organization or business is ready to submit a proposal, go to C&I Carbon Challenge funding opportunity to read the full solicitation.

Informational Webinars

NYSERDA will be conducting two webinar events on May 17th at 11AM ET and June 13th at 11AM ET to discuss program details and address any questions you might have about the application process.

Registration for these events is required:
May 17 Registration
June 13 Registration


NYSERDA will assess each application based on three criteria. Keep the following questions in mind while developing your proposals to help meet these criteria:

  1. Goals and Cost Effectiveness
    • Does the proposal’s requested funding and carbon savings goal provide more value than NYSERDA’s CEF portfolio average of $27/metric ton of CO2 or equivalent reduced?
    • Has enough thought and consideration gone into the carbon reduction goal?
    • Are project costs reasonable and based on experience?
    • Is the methodology for estimating savings sound and has the proposer properly documented assumptions?
  2. A Clean Energy Action Plan
    • Does the proposer demonstrate a thorough investigation of potential measures and sound reasoning for selecting their approach?
    • Does the proposed approach use well established means of implementing energy efficiency and/or distributed energy resource projects?
    • Does the proposed approach utilize technologies or solutions with demonstrable carbon savings potential?
    • Is the timeline for implementing the proposed approach reasonable and appropriate?
    • Is the proposer willing to share stories of success with the public?
  3. Experience
    • Does the proposer have a demonstrated record of sustainable planning and implementation?
    • Is there a track record of achieving environmental sustainability goals?
    • Has the proposer traditionally undertaken energy efficiency or distributed energy resource projects?
    • Do the individuals detailed in the proposal have adequate experience and expertise to implement the proposed approach?


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