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Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize

The goal of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize is to help community coalitions—made up of nonprofits, city governments, school systems, and other community organizations—come together to develop a strategy to address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. Strategies may include student education, workforce trainings, or implementation of new technologies that align with the goals of the White House’s Justice40 Initiative.

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Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize

The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize was established by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in support of the White House’s Justice40 Initiative, and is part of the American-Made Challenges family of prizes.

The goal of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize is to help community coalitions—made up of nonprofits, city governments, school systems, and other community organizations—come together to develop a strategy to address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. Strategies may include student education, workforce trainings, or implementation of new technologies that prioritize a shift to clean energy and remove undue burdens on the communities being served.

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Through the prize, DOE seeks to identify and support:

  • Newly partnered or existing community-based coalitions that have recently committed to helping underrepresented communities address energy challenges and implement clean energy solutions.
  • Further development of relevant in-community coalitions executing projects that are consistent with the Justice40 Initiative and EERE’s focus on clean energy technologies and implementation.
  • Long-term engagement by the relevant in-community coalitions on energy challenges on behalf of the communities served.

About the Justice40 Initiative

Through its Justice40 Initiative, the federal government has set a goal of directing 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The specified investments include those in clean energy and energy efficiency; clean transit; affordable and sustainable housing; training and workforce development; remediation and reduction of legacy pollution; and the development of clean water infrastructure.

Prize Structure

The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize consists of three phases, with a total available prize pool of $1.5 million. Prizes are available to multiple coalition winners in Phase One and Phase Two. The prize will conclude after Phase Three, with a Community Summit Event. At this event, all competitors who complete Phase Two will have the opportunity to present their progress, benefit from networking opportunities, and be eligible for the final $50,000 cash prize, awarded to one winning coalition. Philanthropy partners may also be invited to make connections with coalitions.

Community Clean Energy Coaltion Prize Timeline. Phase 1: Coalition Commitment, 2.5 months.  Build a coalition with engaged community partners to address local energy challenges consistent with DOE J40 policy priorities.  Up to 10 coalitions win $30k each.  Phase 2: Coalition Development, 3 months.  Develop a coalition Implementation Plan describing the steps that wil help achieve coalition objectives.  Winning coalitions can receive an additional $115k each.  Phase 3: Coalition Impact, 6 months.  Execute the Coalition Implementation Plan and demonstrate the impact acheived to date.  Winning coalition will receive an additional grand prize of $50k.  Summit Event:  All are welcome to collaborate and celebrate.

Important Dates

Phase One: Coalition Commitment

  • Phase One Submission Opens: Sept. 16, 2022
  • Phase One Submission Deadline: Dec. 7, 2022 5 p.m. ET
  • Phase One Winner Announcement and Awards: Jan. 2023(anticipated)

Phase Two: Coalition Development

  • Phase Two Submission Opens: Jan. 2023(anticipated)
  • Phase Two Submission Closes: April 4, 2023 5 p.m. ET(anticipated)
  • Phase Two Winner Announcement and Awards: May 2023(anticipated)

Phase Three: Coalition Impact

  • Phase Three Submission Opens: May 2023(anticipated)
  • Phase Three Submission Closes: Late Nov. 2023(anticipated)
  • Phase Three Summit Community Event Pitch Session and Winner Announcement and Awards: May 2023(anticipated)

All dates are subject to change including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements. Sign up for updates on our HeroX challenge page.

Who is Eligible to Compete?

The competition is open to teams of local partners, organized into coalitions and centered around community-based nonprofits, that are: (1) new coalitions established on or after the date of this announcement or (2) existing coalitions that have established a new or amended mission on or after the date of this announcement. For more information, review the official prize rules.


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