State Leadership in Clean Energy

CESA’s State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) Awards recognize state programs or state-funded programs that are most effectively accelerating adoption of clean energy technologies.

The biennial awards highlight states that have established funds to provide critical capital investments for clean energy projects as well as states that have collaborated effectively with industry partners, utility commissions, and local governments―all crucial ways to expand clean energy markets. Award winners are state-funded or municipal-utility supported programs. CESA-member organizations from across the U.S. submit nominations for the leadership awards. The award recipients are chosen by an independent panel of distinguished judges, including clean energy experts from national energy labs, energy-related nonprofits, former state and national political leaders, and national organizations working on clean energy and the clean energy economy.

For each year in which the awards are given, CESA prepares a summary report with case studies highlighting the winning programs, hosts a series of webinars to detail the best practices and lessons learned, and shares the success of the award winners through blogs and social media. See the links at the left for more information about the biennial State Leadership in Clean Energy award’s previous recipients and learn more about these outstanding programs.

In addition to the biannual State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards, CESA also issues the annual Lewis M. Milford Clean Energy Champion Award to honor an individual who has made a substantial impact on the expansion of clean energy and who has influenced the progress of clean energy markets. Named after Lewis M. Milford, the founder of the Clean Energy States Alliance and Clean Energy Group, the award honors leaders who have dedicated themselves over many years to advance the transition to a clean, renewable energy system. This is the first year that the award is being given. Award winners are chosen by the CESA Board of Directors.

The winner of the 2023 Clean Energy Champion Award is Paul Lau, CEO & General Manager of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The award was presented on the evening of May 16th in Washington, DC as part of CESA’s 20th Anniversary Reception. “Paul Lau exemplifies what is best about the clean energy movement: he is forward thinking, he prioritizes equity, and he believes in the power of collaboration,” said CESA Executive Director Warren Leon. Read more about Paul Lau's impressive and impactful career here.