DOE Offers $5.2 Million for Building Efficiency Technologies

DOE announced on March 9 the availability of up to $5.2 million in fiscal year 2012 to develop improved building efficiency technologies. This funding opportunity includes advanced heating and cooling systems and high efficiency insulation, windows and roofs. The funding will advance the research and development, demonstration and manufacture of innovative building technologies to speed the commercialization of affordable, high-performance products.

Homes and commercial buildings consume approximately 40 percent of the energy used in the United States, costing American consumers more than $400 billion annually. Nearly a third of that energy is used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Advancing HVAC building technologies and improving the design and materials that make up a building’s “envelope” or air seal will significantly reduce the cost of heating and cooling residential and commercial buildings.

DOE seeks applicants for funding to support breakthroughs in energy-saving HVAC systems and building envelope solutions. Mechanical HVAC system projects should aim to increase the efficiency of cost-effective systems and components suitable for both existing buildings and new construction, while building envelope projects will focus on advancing high-performance cost-effective ways to minimize energy loss in homes and commercial buildings, particularly existing buildings.

Applications will be accepted through April 17, 2012. See the DOE Progress Alert the Funding Opportunity Exchange website. Source: EERE Network News, 3/14/12

Funding available for hyper-energy-efficiency demonstrations

Members of American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Demonstration of Energy Efficient Developments (DEED) program who are eager to show their leadership in energy efficiency may be eligible for co-funding to finance hyper-energy-efficiency demonstration projects.

APPA is collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to increase the number of EPRI demonstration projects for five innovative technologies:

  1. Variable-refrigerant-flow air conditioning
  2. Efficient data centers
  3. Heat-pump water heaters
  4. Ductless, residential heat-pumps and air-conditioners
  5. Hyper-efficient residential appliances

EPRI is currently monitoring active projects involving these technologies, but would like to install the hyper-efficient systems in different locations to get more comprehensive data. Earlier this year, the DEED board expressed willingness to provide co-funding to DEED members to help finance their participation in these EPRI projects.

New demonstrations must begin operating by the close of first quarter 2011 so that EPRI can obtain a full year of data. Although the application deadline is flexible, the sooner proposals are submitted to DEED, the better.

Interested parties will have to move fast to meet the timeframe for installation; however, there are resources to help them develop their proposals. APPA is offering to arrange one-on-one conference calls with EPRI, so potential participants can get answers to their specific questions. Also, EPRI has established manufacturer contacts for the equipment, and is able to give participants “the heads-up” about operational issues identified through its current projects.

Participation in any of these demonstrations will showcase your utility as an energy-efficiency innovator at the national level. Your customers and city leaders will be proud of their electric utility’s national recognition as a leader in energy efficiency and utility R&D. Contact Michele Suddleson at 202-467-2960 if you are interested in learning more.