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DOE Announces Nearly $83 Million to Increase Building Energy Efficiency and Cut Consumers’ Energy Bills

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44 Projects Will Drive Innovations in Building Materials, Lighting, and Heating and Cooling Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded $82.6 million in funding to 44 projects that will lower Americans’ energy bills and help meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by investing in new energy efficient building technologies, construction practices, and the U.S. buildings-sector workforce.

“Americans spend about $100 billion every year on wasted energy from buildings, heating and cooling units, and more – increasing energy bills and needless emissions that dirty our air and worsen the climate crisis,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By pursuing advancements that make both existing and newly constructed buildings more energy efficient, we can save consumers money and reduce the climate impacts of the places we live and work.”

Currently, residential and commercial buildings account for more than one-third of the climate-altering carbon pollution America releases each year, and consume 40% of the nation’s energy and 75% of its electricity. Pursuing energy efficiency innovations is one of the most cost-effective means to keep the growth of energy consumption from spiraling upwards as society’s energy needs grow.

The 44 projects across 20 states will improve building energy efficiency through innovations in thermal energy storage, building envelopes, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and water heating – as well as by bolstering America’s energy efficiency workforce with trainings, educational programs, and other technical support.

“Technology serves as the third economic wave in our state’s economic growth and today’s funding to North Dakota State University will be used to advance innovative ways to store energy,” said U.S. Senator John Hoeven (ND). “Investments in research to develop cost-effective, more efficient technologies is key to meeting our growing energy needs while leveraging existing resources and with improved environmental stewardship.”

“I am grateful for the Energy Department’s consistent investment in North Dakota and its energy efforts,” said U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (ND). “Today’s award will help NDSU advance its research of efficient energy storage and sustainability.”

“As the strain of extreme heat and wildfires continue threatening to overwhelm California’s electric grid, the funding and support of these pivotal projects are crucial to improving the efficiency of our energy grid and reduce demand,” U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (CA) said. “This is one of the many steps we need to take in order to combat the worsening impacts of climate change. Through these various research projects, we are one step closer to being able to conserve more energy and save billions of dollars in yearly energy costs.”

“Just yesterday, I had the opportunity to bring Secretary Granholm to Central Virginia to demonstrate how our region is leading the way in building new clean energy technologies, constructing energy-efficient buildings, and creating good-paying clean energy jobs,” said U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). “Today’s announcement is an exciting moment for Project Haystack and the Commonwealth as a whole. I look forward to following this project’s progress very closely, and I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Energy for their continued confidence in Virginia’s clean energy future.”

“If we are going to address the climate crisis we must take steps to reduce emissions in every sector of our economy,” said U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03). “This investment will help New Mexico deploy energy-efficient building technologies and advance our ever-growing clean energy workforce.”

“Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District is home to innovators working toward environmental justice for everyone,” said U.S. Representative Nikema Williams (GA-05). “The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance is one of those innovators and today’s award will allow them to help consumers make the informed decisions they need to create a greener planet. I thank Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy for recognizing this work.”

Among the 44 projects are:

  • North Dakota State University (Fargo, North Dakota) will develop a novel absorption material that will efficiently store thermal energy.
  • Baryon Inc. (Wilmington, Delaware) will develop an innovative air-conditioning system based on a new method of evaporative cooling combined with dehumidification that can consume 50 to 85% less energy than traditional air conditioning systems.
  • Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions (Sidney, Ohio) will design, fabricate, and validate a highly efficient refrigerated display case for use in supermarkets.
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, New Jersey) will design, prototype, install, test, and evaluate a high-performance residential wall retrofit that can achieve estimated heating and cooling energy savings of 30% or more.
  • The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (Atlanta, Georgia) will develop training resources on electrified building systems such as electric heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, electric vehicle charging systems, and battery storage systems. These resources will help members of the workforce learn how to educate consumers on the benefits of these technologies.

Visit here for more information and the full list of selected projects.

The DOE’s Building Technologies Office competitively selected from its Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) funding opportunity announcement. For more information about DOE’s work to improve buildings, visit the Building Technologies Office website.

The mission of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and solutions to equitably transition America to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050, and ensure the clean energy economy benefits all Americans, creating good paying jobs for the American people—especially workers and communities impacted by the energy transition and those historically underserved by the energy system and overburdened by pollution.

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