Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize

Published September 21, 2022 | Updated October 28, 2022

The Department of Energy (DOE) is offering $1.5M through the American-Made Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize. This prize will support new and existing coalitions to develop strategies to address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. This prize aligns with the goals of the Justice40 Initiative, which directs significant federal climate and energy investment to disadvantaged communities (DACs).

Community coalitions with strategies to reduce energy burdens and environmental exposure, or increase access to clean energy technology, contracting, and jobs in DACs are encouraged to apply.

The Community Coalition Prize is structured in three phases. Phase One will award $30,000 to up to 10 coalitions. Meet the coalitions who won Phase One here. Those coalitions are eligible to apply by April 2023 to win an additional $115,000 in Phase Two. One coalition will win the grand prize of $50,000 in Phase Three, which will close in late November 2023.

Watch a short, informational video on the prize and its application process:

Who should apply?

Community coalitions anchored by a non-profit and made up of one or more partners—city governments, school systems, businesses and other community organizations—are eligible to apply. Details on eligibility available here.

As a Power Connector, CEBN is happy to facilitate teaming. We invite you to fill out our JEDI teaming form to access information about potential partners.

The rules outlining the prize can be found here, and the prize website offers a resource center and forum to ask questions of prize administrators.

How do I apply?

CEBN is here to work with you throughout the application process. First-time applicants should especially feel welcome to contact us with questions or book our office hours. All materials in your application package should be submitted here.

The application package consists of:

  • A video
  • Cover page *
  • Narrative * which includes a description of the coalition, the identified community need/goal, and an outline of proposed activities.
  • Summary slide
  • Letters of commitment and support *

* These materials will not be made public.

Applicants must specify how the energy challenge they seek to address in their community aligns with the eight DOE Justice40 policy priorities:

  1. Decrease energy burden in disadvantaged communities (DACs).
  2. Decrease environmental exposure and burdens for DACs
  3. Increase parity in clean energy technology (e.g., solar, storage) access and adoption in DACs.
  4. Increase access to low-cost capital in DACs.
  5. Increase clean energy enterprise creation and contracting (MBE/DBE) in DACs.
  6. Increase clean energy jobs, job pipeline, and job training for individuals from DACs.
  7. Increase energy resiliency in DACs.
  8. Increase energy democracy in DACs.

DOE definition of disadvantaged community can be found here. The Disadvantaged Communities Reporter shows census tracks DOE has categorized as DACs.

 When do I apply?

Phase One applications were due by December 7, 2022 at 5pm ET. Phase Two is due in May 2023 and Phase Three is anticipated to close in late November 2023. Although the process for applying is straightforward, we encourage you to get started early to ensure that your application is ready and that you understand the prize goals well in advance of the deadline.

Past Event Recordings

Informational Webinar – Wednesday, October 19, 2022


In October, NREL Prize Administrators held an Informational Webinar to provide an overview of the prize and respond to audience questions.

Workshop & Teaming Event – Thursday, October 27, 2022


CEBN, Browning the Green Space, and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida hosted a teaming event and workshop on October 27, with a panel featuring community leaders exploring strategies for effectively building and engaging coalitions around climate and environmental justice goals.

Special Guest Panelists:


CEBN will be holding supportive events and office hours as part of our work as a Power Connector on this prize. Be sure to check back on this page for updates and reach out to Annabelle Swift with any questions.