If you’ve got a great idea for energy efficiency technology, DTE Energy and the Engineering Society of Detroit want to know about it.

And there might be $250,000 in it for you.

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DTE announced the E Challenge over lunch Wednesday at the DTE – ESD Energy Conference and Exhibition, the state’s largest energy conference, which drew more than 800 people to the Suburban Collection Showplace to learn the latest on energy efficiency and renewables.

Electronic entry is preferred, at www.esd.org/echallenge. For mailed entry information and requirements, contact tim Walker at twalker@esd.org or (248) 353-0735, ext. 115.

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All entries must be submitted, postmarked or hand-delivered to the ESD office by Friday, June 29. The initial entry is in the form of an essay of up to 1,000 words, describing — among other things — the product, material or system’s impact on energy use and the type of businesses or organizations that would benefit, the expected economic impact, and supporting data, including proof of concept or bench-scale results. (See the entry brochure for more details.)

Applications will be evaluated by an impartial panel of industry judges chosen by DTE and ESD.

Initial screening of entries will be complete by Aug. 17. Qualifying entrants will move on to the next phase of judging, a demonstration in November. These entrants will be judged between November and the DTE – ESD Energy Conference in May 2013. At that event, the results will be provided and a winner will be presented. DTE says it may select more than one winner as well.

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Thelma P. Dobson, manager of energy optimization pilots at DTE, said the contest aims to find excellence in technology that will help DTE customers save energy and money.