Community Energy Innovation Prize

What does this funding get me?

The deadline for this grant has passed. If it recurs in the future, we will update this page with the new information.

This DOE prize funds community-based clean energy initiatives or projects that support advanced manufacturing. Projects must engage underserved communities and promote environmental, climate, and energy justice.

Am I eligible?

Community-based organizations, the private sector, and nonfederal government entities may apply.

How can I access the money?

Apply here by February 2, 2024 for the CONCEPT phase.

Applications should engage underserved communities; promote environmental, climate, and energy justice; demonstrate strong community ties; and establish bridges between the Department of Energy and these communities. Submissions can focus on a community-based clean energy initiative to be considered for the Clean Energy Ecosystem Track, and/or a proposal for strengthening and revitalizing advanced manufacturing ecosystems to be considered for the Manufacturing Ecosystem Track.

If applicants are selected as a winner, they will receive prize awards as well as in-kind mentorship and support services.

Winners of the CONCEPT Phase will carry out their proposed plans with an opportunity to win an additional cash prize in the PROGRESS Phase. In the final IMPACT phase, competitors will present their activities and the measurable impacts they achieved and share their plans for the future to compete for the Grand Prize.

What is the timeline?

The deadline to apply for the Clean Energy Ecosystem Track and the Manufacturing Ecosystem Track is February 2, 2024. (The deadline for the Collegiate Track has already passed.)

What other incentives could I use to help me accomplish my goals?

If your application involves installing renewable energy, check out:

If your application involves helping homes improve their energy efficiency, check out:

Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for additional incentives that may be offered by your state, local government, or utility, as well as important federal, state, and local policies. For questions regarding DSIRE, contact Justin Lindemann (NC Clean Energy Technology Center) at

Where can I get more information?

  • Community Energy Innovation Prize overview
  • Detailed prize rules (including deadlines and application instructions)
  • Application page
  • You may be able to get technical assistance with this program from the EPA’s Region 4 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (EJ TCTAC), also called Resource for Assistance and Community Training in Region 4 on Environmental Justice (REACT4EJ), which provides technical assistance to residents, community organizations, and Federally recognized tribal nations in Region 4 states including North and South Carolina. REACT4EJ can assist in developing capabilities and identifying resources for understanding or resolving EJ circumstances. Visit to learn more and connect with their team.
  • As you look at current federal funding opportunities and those anticipated in 2024, SSDN’s Local Infrastructure Hub (LIH) program has resources that may be able to help!  The LIH program supports local governments and community-based organizations that are working on cross-cutting projects at the intersection of addressing climate impacts and promoting racial wealth equity.  Learn more on the LIH website or through this one-pager.  The application for LIH support is a light lift and is linked HERE! Reach out to Nick Deffley if you have questions about eligibility or need guidance.
  • For more assistance or extra questions, contact Sally Robertson at