sustainable states network


US Cities Step Up to Join a New Clean Energy Challenge

 Initiative supports local clean energy action by 30 cities in 5 states


For Immediate Release:  Contact: Lola Schoenrich, Sustainable States Network, Cell: 612-720-9558,  Email: [email protected]

Minneapolis, MN—How well do small and mid-sized US cities stack up when it comes to clean energy goals? That’s what the Sustainable States Community Energy Challenge aims to show with tools and support for 30 communities in five states to assess their clean energy goals and initiatives. The challenge will compare clean energy achievements across similarly-sized cities, assess future initiatives, and provide project implementation assistance. Additionally, participating communities will be a part of an in-state peer cohort and will receive technical assistance to completing a pressing clean energy initiative.

The project is a partnership of the Sustainable States Network, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and five state-level sustainability programs, including Connecticut, California, Maryland, Minnesota, and New Jersey.

“The power that small and medium-sized cities have to make durable and lasting impacts on clean energy can’t be underestimated. This is an opportunity to compare their clean energy achievements against similar cities in their own state and across the country and learn how they can magnify their progress,” said Lola Schoenrich, coordinator of the Sustainable States Network and vice president of communities at the Great Plains Institute. “Municipalities across the country are taking a lead in adding renewable energy, making buildings more efficient, and electrifying transportation to ensure a more sustainable and livable community for their residents.”

Given the very real financial challenges cities face because of COVID-19, this opportunity provides additional resources for projects that support economic recovery. Participating state sustainability programs include Sustainable CT, Green Cities California, Sustainable Maryland, Minnesota GreenStep Cities, and Sustainable Jersey.

“We look forward to working with small and medium-sized cities across the country to assess their clean energy efforts to help them see where they can step up,” says Dave Ribeiro, ACEEE senior research manager. “We’re confident the Community Energy Challenge will help communities throughout the country scale up their energy efficiency and clean energy efforts.”

The Sustainable States Clean Energy Challenge is funded with support from the New York Community Trust.  About the Sustainable States Network (SSN): The SSN brings together 13 state-level clean energy and sustainability programs to share resources and best practices, foster the success of local initiatives, and collaborate on projects with the aim of making sustainability the norm in all communities.

Find out more at SSN is managed by the Great Plains Institute.

About the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE): ACEEE acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. Find out more at

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