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Energy Innovation

Program Overview

DEM launched the Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability (“IDEA”) Program in 2014 to help meet the City’s emissions reductions goals by engaging vendors to test new or underutilized energy technologies in City buildings. The IDEA Program helps vendors build the use case for their solutions, while also addressing City building system or operational challenges and informing DEM’s cleantech strategy and investments.


As of 2018, DEM has launched four phases of the IDEA Program, focused on building controls, energy storage, HVAC optimization, and renewable energy technologies, respectively and renewable energy technologies respectively. We have successfully closed 16 technology demonstrations spanning phases I through III of the program. Please refer to the Case Studies section below for one-pagers on demonstrated technologies.

How to Participate

  • The IDEA Program is open to entrepreneurs and companies who have innovative energy efficiency solutions.
  • Selected vendors work with DEM to test their technologies in City buildings for a specified demonstration period, generally 12 months, but longer as needed.
  • Vendors are responsible for installing and commissioning their solutions, as well as conducting as-needed training of City staff. They also must complete a performance assessment of their technologies’ effectiveness and suitability for use across the City’s portfolio after 12 months of installation.

DEM is currently accepting ideas from vendors on a rolling basis; we will contact you if your technology has been selected for demonstration.

Submit your IDEA product/technology information

2020 Updates:

  • Phase I has been completed, phases II-III are near completion, and phase IV is underway. 
  • Post Phase IV, technologies are being contracted for no-cost demonstrations. If you are interested in providing the City with a no-cost demonstration, please submit your product/technology information.
  • Additionally, DEM is always on the lookout for agency partners who are interested in having tested technologies installed in their buildings. Find a technology for your building.

Case Studies

The following technologies were demonstrated in City-owned buildings as part of the IDEA program. Case studies are done for completed technology demonstration projects.