Energy to Lead Competition 2020

How it Works

NYSERDA will award up to $5 million, ranging from $500,000 and $1.5 million per award. Winning proposals will highlight cost-effective, deep and impactful energy savings projects leading to decarbonization. Proposals will also integrate student engagement and share best practices with other campuses to encourage replication. Projects within natural gas constrained areas and/or projects that reduce dependence on natural gas supplies will be awarded additional points during proposal evaluation.

Applicants are encouraged to consider a variety of approaches to planning, funding, and implementing energy projects while maximizing quantifiable energy and greenhouse gas reductions on campus. For the purposes of this solicitation, clean energy is inclusive of energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy. 

The following are examples of eligible project types. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Net zero energy and/or net zero carbon
  • Deep energy saving retrofits
  • Comprehensive energy efficiency measure implementation
  • Clean heating and cooling
  • Natural gas efficiency and/or conservation
  • Primary fuel switching from natural gas to reduce carbon emissions
  • Any combination of the above
  • Any project that results in deep and impactful energy savings resulting in substantive carbon reduction

Projects must be performed on systems with a remaining useful life of at least six (6) years.
Ineligible projects include:

  • Projects containing conversion to natural gas
  • Full system replacements to new fossil fuel-based systems
  • Measures with available investor owned utility incentives
  • Projects that have been installed prior to Program launch

Who can Apply

Only REV Campus Challenge members are eligible to apply. Any higher education institution in New York State can become a REV Campus Challenge member. The Energy to Lead Competition is NOT limited to system benefits charge (SBC) paying customer – REV Campus Challenge members in ALL utility territories may apply.

How to Apply

Proposals must be submitted through NYSERDA’s online portal. Proposals must include all required documentation in the format requested. More information, including the full request for proposals, required attachments, and link to the online submission portal, can be found hereLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.. Proposals are due February 20, 2020 by 3 p.m. EST.

Informational Webinars

A copy of the Energy to Lead Competition 2020 informational webinar is below along with a list of frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, please contact

Feedback Session

Proposing institutions are invited, but not required, to present preliminary proposal concepts to NYSERDA staff. During the session, NYSERDA panelists will provide constructive feedback and raise critical questions to help proposers strengthen and increase the impact of their proposals. Feedback sessions are open to all REV Campus Challenge members interested in submitting a proposal. Feedback session presentations and panelist feedback will NOT be considered by NYSERDA in final proposal evaluation.

Registration for sessions in now closed.


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