Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced six finalists in the Equitable and Affordable Solutions to Electrification (EAS-E) Prize, which awards innovative solutions that advance electrification retrofits across various residential building types and geographies with $2.4 million in cash prizes and technical assistance.
“The goal of the EAS-E prize is to promote technologies and develop innovations that make home electrification easier, more affordable, and more accessible, with a specific focus on dwellings underserved by the current market for electrification,” said Alejandro Moreno, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “We look forward to seeing the concepts come to life as the teams compete in the next phase.”
Finalist teams receive $5,000 in cash and a $75,000 voucher to work with DOE national laboratories and American-Made Network “Connectors” to advance their electrification solutions. In Phase 2, these teams will compete for up to three cash prizes, with a top award of $1 million.
In Phase 1, teams developed concepts that could deliver affordable, equitable electrification. In Phase 2, the finalists will evaluate the market and commercial viability of their solutions and demonstrate their innovations in testbeds, realistic settings, or existing buildings.
The finalists are:
- NeoCharge and Redwood Energy (Arcata, California) will demonstrate a whole-home electrification of all major gas appliances with 120-volt alternatives. They will integrate smart circuit splitters to avoid the need for costly electrical panel upgrades. Energy and power will be monitored and controlled, providing load flexibility, grid resiliency, and home energy insights.
- Aris Hydronics, Inc. (Milwaukie, Oregon) is developing and manufacturing a modular, multi-function air-to-water heat pump system, especially applicable to multifamily housing, that incorporates a unified grid-interactive energy management control platform that provides heating, cooling, and domestic hot water.
- Hydronic Shell Technologies (Long Island City, New York) are prototyping and demonstrating an HVAC-integrated façade panel system installed onto the building exterior for non-invasive building electrification of multifamily housing. The modular, exterior application allows building tenants to remain in their units during electrification retrofits.
- QuitCarbon Inc. (San Francisco, California) is developing software to make design and planning of electrification retrofits significantly faster and easier for homeowners and contractors. Their application-based innovations to the planning process are designed to improve approaches to auditing, design, planning, incentive/rebate utilization.
- Dayton Energy Collaborative (Dayton, Ohio) is developing and implementing a blueprint for community-level, cold-climate electrification retrofits targeting low-income households, with weatherization and heat pump upgrades, watt dieting, smart outlets, circuit sharing, and smart electrical panels.
- B&B Technology Solutions and SimpleSwitch (Henderson, Nevada) will use smart circuit switching between 240-volt electric end uses while monitoring whole-home current draw to provide control logic and eliminate coincident peak loads. This solution provides benefits associated with smart panel operation without the need for a panel upgrade.
The Buildings Technologies Office anticipates grand prize announcements following demonstration activities in June 2024.
The EAS-E Prize is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is part of the American-Made program, which fast-tracks innovation through prizes, training, teaming, and mentoring. EAS-E Prize finalists have access to the American-Made Network, connecting the nation’s entrepreneurs and innovators to America’s national labs and the private sector. Mentoring, tools, resources, and support through the American-Made Network help accelerate the transition of ideas into real-world solutions to achieve clean energy goals.
Follow the EAS-E Prize on HeroX.com for all prize-related updates.