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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 deep decarbonization opportunities, either directly or through preferred solutions provider. The C&I Carbon Challenge helps companies and organizations implement carbon-reduction projects through a competitive proposal process. Challenge winners will work one-on-one with a dedicated NYSERDA resource on all proposed projects rather than navigating multiple 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 or work with a service or solutions provider 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 $500,000 to $3.75 million per successful proposal. Awards can be used to fund a single large project or a portfolio of projects. All proposals must include beneficial electrification, carbon capture, manufacturing process emission reductions or low-carbon fuel projects. 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

While award funds may be used for any energy or industrial-process related projects that can reduce carbon emissions, awardees are required to pursue at least one of the following project types:

  • Beneficial Electrification
  • Carbon Capture, Utilization, and/or Storage
  • Low-Carbon Fuel Use
  • Manufacturing Process Emission Reduction

In addition to the above required projects, other eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • 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

The application is open to large energy consumers or firms providing decarbonization solutions directly to large energy consumers. Solutions providers working directly with customers in these sectors are also eligible to apply.

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 

Interested applicants should review the program summary in the CFA Resource Guide [PDF].

How to Apply

Submit online application Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. by July 31, 2024 at 4pm.

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]