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Tri-County Regional Energy Network (3C-REN) wins $400,000 toward Climate Smart Multifamily Property Upgrade program

U.S. Department of Energy

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Tri-County Regional Energy Network (3C-REN) and a partnering organization $400,000 toward the Climate Smart Multifamily Property Upgrade program.

3C-REN provided the following press release:

3C-REN (Tri-County Regional Energy Network), a partnership between the Counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura that delivers energy-saving programs, was selected along with BayREN in Phase 1 of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Buildings Upgrade Prize to win $400,000 towards its Climate Smart Multifamily Property Upgrade Program. Phase 2 involves creating a detailed, actionable implementation plan that will direct even more climate-friendly investments into the region.

“The proposal we submitted will expand our multifamily services. The goal is to include technical and financial assistance for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at low-income or affordable housing properties that are also doing building energy efficiency and electrification upgrades,” said Marisa Hanson-Lopez, 3C-REN Program Manager. “As residents switch to more climate-friendly transportation, we want multifamily residents to have the infrastructure support they need while closing critical EV charging gaps in the region.”

Buildings UP is a U.S. DOE prize designed to build capacity to accelerate equitable, widespread energy efficiency and efficient electrification building upgrades across the country. In Phase 1, 45 teams were awarded more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance for developing scalable and replicable initiatives that break down barriers to reducing carbon emissions and energy costs while improving indoor air quality and occupant comfort across existing U.S. homes, commercial spaces, and communities. 

3C-REN partnered with BayREN (Bay Area Regional Energy Network) to submit the application. Through the partnership, the Climate Smart Multifamily Property Upgrade Program will extend the EV services to a broader geographic area, spanning different markets and regions.

“We received an unprecedented number of submissions to this prize, demonstrating nationwide enthusiasm for developing solutions that drive scalable building energy efficiency and electrification upgrades across the country,” said Jeff Marootian, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). “Phase 1 winning teams developed robust initiative concepts that center equity and will accelerate energy upgrades in a wide range of buildings. We look forward to seeing these Phase 1 concepts take shape in the next phase of this prize.” 

Buildings UP was developed and funded by the Building Technologies Office (BTO). It is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is part of the American-Made program, which fast-tracks innovation through prizes, training, teaming, and mentoring. 

For more information on 3C-REN, visit For more information on Buildings Up, visit 

Article Topic Follows: Environment & Energy
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