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Empire Technology Prize

Program Name: Empire Technology Prize
Program Sponsor: NYSERDA, Wells Fargo, and The Clean Fight
Program Type:          Rebate/Incentives
Technology:               Alternative Energy Generation/ Renewables
Fuel:                        Heat Pumps
Eligibility:  Teams/ Organizations looking to develop a prototype for decarbonized heating in tall buildings (6 stories or higher). Solution must be appliable to the New York City or State market
Cost: No Cost


The Empire Technology Prize confronts New York’s pressing climate issue linked to buildings, which generate 70% of NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a global concern as buildings contribute 40% of emissions. The prize concentrates on heating, responsible for over 30% of building emissions. The goal is to develop high-temperature heat pumps and distribution systems suitable for existing tall buildings, addressing a substantial market. A $10 million prize aims to incentivize innovative solutions, aiming to combat climate change and promote sustainable building technologies.


Any incorporated company with at least two full time employees is eligible to participate — from small startups to publicly traded corporations.

How the Program Works

The Empire Technology Prize is structured as a competitive program that invites innovators, researchers, and organizations to submit proposals for solutions addressing the challenge of decarbonizing heating in tall buildings. The program sees two approaches to the problem. First, centralized heat pumps that generate steam or high-temperature water. Also, distribution solutions that make it easier to adopt centralized low temperature heat pumps, without the need to remove existing distribution systems.

To win, by the end of the one-year program, teams must develop at least a tested prototype for a heating, or distribution system, that can be easily installed for existing New York State residential or commercial buildings that are at least 7 stories tall. Solutions will be scored on three bases: projected GHG reduction by 2040, ease of implementation in the NY market, and path to cost competitiveness.

After the application deadline in March 2024, up to 7 finalists will be selected and awarded $250,000 once accepted, with an additional $750,000 available as a milestone award during the 1-year program. The Prize will make $2,000,000 available to offset costs incurred by finalists and real estate partners in installing pilots and demonstrations. Finally, at the end of the 1-year program, a winner will be selected and receive an additional $1,000,000 prize.

Finalists are able to work with Demonstration Partners to discuss pilot and demonstration sites in New York City and/or New York State.

How to Apply

Applicants must first register their intent to apply by March 15, 2024. Next applicants can submit an optional abstract, which is due February 23, 2024. Finally, applicants must submit their full application by March 22, 2024.

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