The Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) provides more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to support the transformation of existing U.S. buildings into more energy-efficient and clean energy-ready homes, commercial spaces, and communities.

Phase 1 winners were chosen in two prize pathways: Equity-Centered Innovation and Open Innovation.

Equity-Centered Pathway Phase 1 Winners

The following Equity Centered Pathway Buildings UP Phase 1 winners will each receive $400,000 in cash prizes, as well as technical assistance. 

Community-driven planning and technology deployment coupled with redevelopment, capacity-building, climate adaption and resilience models for historic coal communities in rural Appalachia.

  • Appalachian Voices will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Strengthen relationships and build capacity among residents and contractors to complete heat pump upgrades of single-family homes in the underserved 15th Ward neighborhood of Syracuse.

  • Blueprint 15 Inc. will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Resident-led initiative to rejuvenate the East Parkside neighborhood in Philadelphia through upgrading rowhomes. 

  • Centennial Parkside CDC will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Leverage trusted CBOs (capacity building outreach networks) to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers to electrification adoption in frontline communities.

  • City of Everett will receive a $270,000 cash award (67.5% of the total team award).
  • La Comunidad Inc. will receive a $130,000 cash award (32.5% of the total team award).

Intentional community engagement to address systemic barriers resulting in affordable and resilient buildings in Las Cruces.

  • City of Las Cruces will receive a $300,000 cash award (75% of the total team award).
  • Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs will receive a $100,000 cash award (25% of the total team award).

Provide streamlined technical support and guidance to weatherize, electrify, and improve resilience of affordable housing within the City of Olympia. 

  • City of Olympia will receive a $350,000 cash award (87.5% of the total team award).
  • Olympia Community Solar will receive a $50,000 cash award (12.5% of the total team award).

Identify how mobile home electrification can be cost-effective and convene stakeholders in designing a mobile home retrofit service. 

  • City of San Luis Obispo will receive a $315,000 cash award (78.75% of the total team award).
  • Five Cities Diversity Coalition will receive a $85,000 cash award (21.25% of the total team award).

Comprehensive retrofits with workforce development and data analytics to enable SEM and demand response services and drive program growth.

  • CLEAResult Consulting Inc. will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Community-driven pathways to upgrading homes, improving home energy efficiency, reducing energy burden, and improving health.

  • Climate + Energy Project will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Community-informed prioritized decarbonization achieved through robust partnerships and holistic scoping of projects in rural communities.

  • Community House Partners Corporation will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Upgrade 2,000-plus Minnesota homes by creating access to upfront capital, data integration, and providing community-trusted support through a navigator position.

  • Community Power will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).
  • Cooperative Energy Futures will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).

Integrated building and transportation efficiency and electrification coupled with technical and financial assistance to affordable multifamily properties across 12 counties in California. 

  • County of Ventura will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).
  • Energy Council will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).

Equitable electrification via a holistic support-centric approach including enhanced audits, guided support systems, and expanded training. 

  • Ecolibrium3 will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Energy Smart Colorado will upgrade energy efficiency and electrify 750 rural, underserved homes across 18 Colorado counties. 

  • Energy Smart Colorado, Inc. will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Renovate affordable housing for climate resiliency, with focus on Black and Latin(x) neighborhoods.

  • Evanston Development Cooperative will receive a $333,000 cash award (83.25% of the total team award).
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology will receive a $67,000 cash award (16.75% of the total team award).

Deliver equitable, replicable decarbonization at community portfolio scale by transforming Black faith community buildings in environmental justice areas.

  • Green The Church will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Expand existing energy efficiency program to include electrification retrofits to better serve Low-Moderate-Income (LMI) housing in the East Baltimore community targeting single mothers, seniors, and African American residents.

  • Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Inc. will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Scale rural LMI energy efficiency upgrades by stacking incentives and financing programs to increase accessibility to funds and housing equity.

  • Groundswell Inc. will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

JustEnergy will install efficient appliances, employ skilled and diverse workers, and reduce building stock emissions.

  • Hijra House Association will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).
  • Community Connections Inc. will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).

Grassroots, community development organization-focused approach to retrofitting and building with heat pump technologies in the cities of Detroit and Highland Park. 

  • Hope Village Revitalization will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Leverage hybrid financing to address significant challenges related to energy efficiency, water conservation, and solar retrofit projects in the south and west sides of Chicago.    

  • Imani Works, Inc. will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).
  • Affordable Community Energy Services Company will receive a $200,000 cash award (50% of the total team award).

Create the first African American Net Zero neighborhood in American Addition, one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio, and deliver deep energy savings (>30%) to LMI families in the area. 

  • IMPACT Community Action will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Build on Louisville's C-LEAP successes to eliminate severe energy burden in LMI affordable housing. and provide supplemental support to other focus areas (benchmarking, financing, and workforce). 

  • Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Energy efficiency upgrades for library systems while also creating an experiential learning curriculum for the public demonstrating the reach and cultural impacts libraries have on their communities. 

  • Metropolitan Energy Center will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Leverage grassroots engagement strategies and deep community trust to electrify and improve health and safety of homes and small commercial buildings in two counties in North Carolina.

  • New North Carolina Project will receive a $300,000 cash award (75% of the total team award).
  • Upper Room Outreach International will receive a $100,000 cash award (25% of the total team award).

Multifaceted approach to address the unique challenges of aging, energy-inefficient housing stock, economic disparities, and environmental inequalities in the Pittsburgh region. 

  • New Sun Rising will receive a $300,000 cash award (75% of the total team award).
  • Hazelwood Initiative, Inc. will receive a $100,000 cash award (25% of the total team award).

By 2028, retrofitMAINE will upgrade 100 low-income homes in Freeport and Lewiston, bolstering bundled funding strategies and workforce development programs.

  • passivhausMAINE will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Building upgrades in the Four Corners region of the Navajo Nation with a focus on woodstove heating replacements to improve health and safety outcomes. 

  • Red Feather Development Group will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Deep energy retrofits in Tribally-owned buildings by employing worker development, business creation, clean energy lending and other economic activities supported by RESCo, the newly established Tribal Utility Company.

  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Build energy efficient homes and economic opportunity while writing a new climate narrative in rural, working-class Washington State. 

  • Rural People's Voice will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Upgrade 200 homes in 200 days with heat pump water heaters (HPWH) and efficiency measures for San Francisco disadvantaged communities. As the San Francisco Bay Area has mandated the phase out on sales of natural gas water heaters by 2027, the initiative will ensure the HPWH roll-out is conducted equitably and is affordable for the most marginalized communities.

  • San Francisco Department of the Environment will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Tailor whole home energy and enablement solutions in Native and Frontline communities, bringing resilience and agency for energy independence. 

  • Shifted Energy, Inc. will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Design and launch the Cream City Climate Challenge to inspire weatherization and electrification and improve health and safety outcomes for Milwaukee's historically disadvantaged communities.

  • Slipstream Group, Inc. will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Leverage partnerships in Grand County, Utah, to offer equity-centered navigation for weatherizing and electrifying nonprofits, governments, and homes. 

  • Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Increase access to affordable energy upgrades for low-income housing and nonprofits in Alaska on the frontline of climate change. 

  • The Alaska Center will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Accelerate energy efficiency retrofits for underserved non-profit buildings serving as solar-powered resilience hubs scalable throughout the Gulf South. 

  • Together New Orleans Sponsoring Committee/Together New Orleans will receive a $125,000 cash award (31.25% of the total team award).
  • St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church will receive a $275,000 cash award (68.75% of the total team award).

System navigators will connect low-income multifamily residents/owners in the most marginalized communities across Oregon to health and energy resources, as well as streamline cross-program participation in affordable multifamily upgrades. 

  • TRC will receive a $250,000 cash award (62.5% of the total team award).
  • Unite Oregon will receive a $150,000 cash award (37.5% of the total team award).

Urban Green Council and partners will catalyze heat pump water heater conversions in New York City’s Justice40 census tracts. 

  • Urban Green Council will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Expand an existing healthy homes program to provide building assessments, heat pump installations, and other upgrades to 150 LMI households in an environmental justice community.

  • West Anniston Foundation will receive a $400,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Open Innovation Pathway Phase 1 Winners

The following Open Innovation Pathway Buildings UP Phase 1 winners will each receive $200,000 in cash prizes, as well as technical assistance.

Reduce cost-burdens to retrofit work for some of the nation’s oldest heating oil buildings in Maine's rural coastal island communities.

  • College of the Atlantic will receive a $200,000 cash award (100% of the total team award).

Leverage the immersive power of faith-based communities desire to reduce energy use and increase resiliency by performing energy efficiency upgrades in faith buildings. 
 

Leverage existing in-home deliveries via software integrations to capture detailed information about a home's candidacy for heat pump water heaters (HPWH). 
 

Comprehensive outreach and strategy development for energy efficiency/electrification projects and local workforce development in native Alaskan city 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Accelerate the adoption of electric HVAC technologies, energy efficiency, resiliency and improved air quality in K-12 schools with the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts and funding braiding for financing.

Bring innovative technology and financing together to deliver simple and affordable home electrification to rural and LMI populations.