Buildings Upgrade Award by the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Buildings UP

Buildings UP is designed to accelerate the transformation of U.S. buildings into energy-efficient, clean energy-ready homes, commercial spaces, and communities.

Buildings Upgrade Prize

The Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) offers more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across the United States with winning ideas to accelerate widespread and equitable energy efficiency and building electrification improvements.

Alejandro Moreno, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, commented: “We have a unique opportunity to leverage the billions of dollars in funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, utility rebate programs, and many other sources to improve our existing buildings and help address climate change. Transforming existing buildings is a complex task. Each building has needs related to size, use, age, location, and more – there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Buildings UP is designed to build the capacity of multi-stakeholder teams to develop a variety of solutions and drive the implementation of effective building improvement initiatives across the country.”


Clean energy

Upgrading existing buildings to run efficiently on clean energy will help address climate change. Solutions can vary and may include adopting efficient electrical equipment and appliances, including heat pumps and heat pump water heaters, as well as increased building efficiency through insulation and air sealing. 

Together, these efforts will help reduce carbon emissions and energy costs while improving indoor air quality and occupant comfort.

In Buildings UP Phase 1, teams will present innovative concepts to increase energy improvements in buildings, choosing one of two tracks: 
  1. Equity-focused innovation: winning teams will assist in improving low- and moderate-income housing, and small disadvantaged businesses and other establishments that meet equity requirements will receive $400,000 in cash.
  2. Open Innovation: Winning teams will receive $200,000 in cash. 

Winners in both tracks will also receive technical assistance and expert advice to help them bring their ideas to fruition.

DOE encourages community-based organizations, state and local governments, Indian tribes, building owners, utilities, nonprofits, energy efficiency program implementers, and other organizations to join and apply. Phase 1 opens on February 18, 2023.

Up to 50 Application Support Awards of $5,000 and 10 hours of technical assistance are available. To help new and under-resourced teams complete Phase 1 applications. The Application Support Award will open on January 18, 2023, and will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.


National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory administer the Buildings UP and is part of the American-Made program. Which drives innovation through prizes, training, teamwork, and mentoring. Teams competing in Buildings UP will have access to the American-Made network. Which connects the nation’s entrepreneurs and innovators with national labs and the private sector. Mentorship, tools, resources, and support through the American-Made Network help accelerate the transition. From ideas to real solutions to achieve clean energy goals.

U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Building Technologies funds and develops the Buildings UP. As part of its overall mission to reduce the carbon footprint of the U.S. building stock. While maintaining or improving affordability, comfort, and performance.


It can be of your interest: Community Energy Accelerator: DOE $10 million award

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