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Clean Energy Community Awards Application



The Clean Energy Community Awards are an acknowledgment of the work done by Minnesota communities to further the state’s clean energy goals by implementing programs, policies, and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy generation.


  • Communities can consist of any group united in implementing clean energy goals. A local unit of government (city, county, tribal nation, or other jurisdiction) must be among the participating members, but nonprofits, service organizations, and businesses will strengthen the application.
  • Programs from the Possible Initiatives list will be given high priority by evaluators.
  • Programs must be in operation during the last 12 months.
  • Applications will be considered from throughout the state, regardless of population or geographic location.


  • Applicant communities will be invited to attend an event at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair, where award finalists will be announced.
  • Finalist communities (up to 10) will have their initiatives featured as part of an exhibit at the Eco Experience. Additionally, they will receive admission tickets to the Fair to attend the announcement event.
  • Award recipient communities (up to 5) will receive:
    • A stipend to send community members to attend a celebratory event and press conference during Energy Awareness Month in October.
    • Statewide media coverage including press packets for distribution to local media outlets.
    • Achievement Award suitable for public display.
    • Signage designating “Clean Energy Community” for display on public property or building.
    • Web recognition on Commerce website.

Award Criteria

Successful Clean Energy Community applicants will have implemented programs that satisfy a majority (or demonstrate intense efforts in one or more) of the following criteria:

  • Policy development, such as incorporation of energy goals in a community’s Comprehensive, Sustainability, Zoning, or Climate Action Plans that serve to provide measurable clean energy achievements in public buildings/infrastructure and/or private businesses/residences.
  • Community partnerships and stakeholder education with local business/industry/agriculture, nonprofits, utilities, or residents to meet energy goals.
  • Expansion of energy efficiency and/or renewable energy opportunities to historically underserved communities.
  • Innovation that is replicable by Minnesota communities and that serves to advance Minnesota’s clean energy goals.

Application Process

To apply to be a Minnesota Clean Energy Community, fill out the form below for each initiative you’d like to share no later than July 15, 2016. Questions can be directed to

Learn More

Click here to download a flier about the Clean Energy Community Awards criteria and possible initiatives >>

CECA Application

This application form is currently closed and will open again for the 2017 awards.

Minnesotans building a clean energy future


    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission