Six finalists were announced in the Equitable and Affordable Solutions to Electrification (EAS-E) Prize on Monday, April 24. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory launched the program late last year to award innovative solutions that advance electrification retrofits for different residential building typologies across the U.S. The winners will be awarded $2.4 million in cash prizes and receive technical assistance.
In Phase 1, teams created conceptual frameworks capable of delivering affordable, equitable electrification. They will now receive $5,000 in cash, as well as a $75,000 voucher to work with DOE national laboratories and American-Made Network “Connectors” to further develop these concepts.
“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.”
In Phase 2, the finalists will test the market and commercial viability of their solutions and demonstrate the feasibility of their innovations in realistic settings, testbeds, or existing buildings. At the end of Phase 2, three cash prizes will be announced, with a top award of $1 million. Grand prize announcements are expected in June 2024.
According to a release from the DOE, the six 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.
Follow the EAS-E Prize on HeroX.com for all prize-related updates.