Upgrade Everyone: The First Gigawatt of Equitable Virtual Power Plants

2030 Climate Challenge
Solar United Neighbors

Accelerating proven inclusive utility investment to deploy residential energy efficiency, demand response, electrification, solar, electric vehicle charging, and energy storage upgrades that connect as virtual power plants to achieve greater energy system equity and 50% greenhouse gas reduction in communities served by partner utilities in a dozen states by 2025, and all utilities by 2030.

Last Updated: November 2023
Competition Participation
2030 Climate Challenge logo
2030 Climate Challenge
Climate Change & Environment
Current Work Location(s):
  • Arizona, United States of America
  • Florida, United States of America
  • Minnesota, United States of America
  • Ohio, United States of America
  • Virginia, United States of America
Priority Population(s):
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • People of African descent
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 11. Sustainable cities and communities
  • 13. Climate action

Executive Summary

On the path to becoming carbon negative by 2050, all 130 million single- and multi-family U.S. homes will need to be fossil free. However, existing approaches that rely on families paying up-front costs or taking on debt fail to reach over half the population -- renters and low- and moderate-income households. Upgrade Everyone scales the proven Pay As You Save® (PAYS®) inclusive utility investment system that enables energy upgrades to pay for themselves, with no credit check, debt, or up-front cost. In partnership with a dozen utilities in nearly a dozen states, along with community organizations and key federal agencies, this project will accelerate existing programs to upgrade and connect 25% of homes as virtual power plants by 2025, serving as models for national replication everywhere by 2030. Through this project, America’s utilities become drivers of decarbonization and equitable engines of the transition to clean energy communities.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Solar United Neighbors

website: https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/
Organization Headquarters
District of Columbia, United States of America
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
51 to 100
Annual Operating Budget
$5.1 to 10 Million

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.


While we were never able to formally begin this project, we have all continued working towards the ideas of this project. This year, SUN has focused on utility accountability efforts to make it easier to advance beneficial projects with utilities. We helped successfully pass a utility accountability bill in Colorado, and similar ones passed in Connecticut and Maine as well this year.

Help Fund Bold Solutions

Learn more and help fund this highly-rated project:

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