WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced 15 research and deployment partnerships to help improve the energy efficiency of American homes. DOE said these multidisciplinary teams will receive a total of up to $30 million for the initial 18 months of the projects to deliver innovative energy efficiency strategies to the residential market and address barriers to bringing high-efficiency homes within reach for all Americans. A total of up to $20 million per year will also be made available for the partnerships for three potential one-year extensions. These research and deployment partnerships will provide technical assistance to retrofit projects and will leverage industry expertise and funding to support DOE’s energy efficiency retrofit programs. This effort will support the Department’s Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative, announced by Vice President Joe Biden in April, which brings communities, governments, private sector companies, and non-profit organizations together to deliver energy-efficiency upgrades - or retrofits - to whole neighborhoods and cities.

DOE said these partnerships will research and deploy new technologies and demonstration projects, and provide systems engineering, quality assurance, and outreach for retrofit projects throughout the country. The Department noted that existing techniques and technologies in energy efficiency retrofitting - such as air-tight ducts, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, insulation and caulking, and windows and doors - can reduce energy use by up to 40 percent per home and cut energy bills by $40 billion annually.

Selections were made through the DOE Building Technologies Program. The following is a brief description of the selected teams, which will each receive between $500,000 and $2.5 million depending on their performance:

Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions (ARIES)led by Levy Partnership, New York. ARIES will focus on energy solutions for new and existing affordable housing including factory- and site-built homes. ARIES is a broad based industry team of over 50 organizations including implementers, product suppliers, and trainers. The ARIES technical team members include CDH Energy, Southern Energy Management, Syracuse University Center of Excellence, and NTA Inc.

Alliance for Residential Building Innovation (ARBI)led by Davis Energy Group (DEG), Davis, Calif. ARBI will focus on resolving technical and market barriers to large scale implementation of innovative energy solutions for new and existing homes. Team members are aligned for retrofit activities, providing considerable experience in audits, home performance contracting, marketing, and finance. Specific partners include Rocky Mountain Institute, UC Davis, Heschong Mahone Group, Green Home Solutions, and Bevilacqua-Knight.

Building America Retrofit Alliance (BARA)led by Building Media Inc (BMI) based out of Wilmington, Del., and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) located in Newark, N.J. BARA will focus on market delivery strategies to improve energy efficiency in the nation’s existing housing stock. This team has strong capabilities in the areas of training and outreach. Additional team members include Steve Easley and Associates, Confluence Communications, DuPont, Louisiana State University, Enterprise Community Partners, Institute for Business and Home Safety, and Hancock Software, among others.

Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC)research team led by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla. BA-PIRC will focus on cost-effective efficiency solutions for new and existing homes in hot humid and marine climates. FSEC possesses extensive residential energy research facilities including the Manufactured Housing Laboratory, the Flexible Roof Facility, the Building Science Lab, the Hot Water Systems Laboratory, and the Climate-Controlled Air Conditioning Laboratory. Team members include Newport Partners, Washington State University, Northwest Energy Works, Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), Building Performance Institute (BPI), WellHome, Florida Home Energy and Resources Organization (Florida H.E.R.O.), Calcs-Plus (CP), and TexEnergy Solutions.

Building Energy Efficient Homes for America (BEEHA)led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the University of Florida (UF) headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., and Gainesville, Fla., respectively. This team possesses simulation and computing facilities, as well as building systems research laboratories. The multidisciplinary team will explore and deliver systems-engineered solutions for new and existing homes. Industry partners for this team include HearthStone Homes, Rezac Construction, Barry Rutenberg and Associates, G.W. Robinson Homes, Tommy Williams, and Johnson Controls.

Building Industry Research Alliance (BIRA)led by ConSol with headquarters in Stockton, Calif. BIRA’s research will focus on energy and peak reduction in homes by evaluating technologies and market delivery approaches for neighborhood-scale implementation. The research will target a diversity of homes and a variety of strategies for retrofit implementation. Team members include more than 80 research organizations and building industry partners, such as Washington State University, Arizona State University, UC Davis, General Electric, Ennovationz, Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, San Diego Gas & Electric, Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, and Bank of America.

Building Science Corporation (BSC), Somerville, Mass., is a leading developer of energy systems for durable, high performance homes. BSC will focus on advanced technical solutions, code barriers, and market demonstrations for new and existing homes. The BSC team includes Affordable Comfort, ARES Consulting, Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, DEAP Energy Group, National Grid, and a wide array of material suppliers and manufacturers.

Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB)led by Steven Winter Associates Inc., Norwalk, Conn. The CARB team has extensive experience conducting and completing team-based advanced building systems research, whole-house research, and outreach. The CARB team will focus on market delivery and cost-effective demonstrations of high performance retrofits and new homes. Team members include MaGrann Associates, Alliance to Save Energy’s BCAP, Pratt Center for Community Development, University of Florida’s PREC, Green Builder Media, Jay Hall and Associates, Masco, and additional stakeholders in the residential energy industry.

Habitat Cost Effective Energy Retrofit Program Teamled by Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich. This team will focus on applying innovative retrofit technologies in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. These efficiency technologies are said to deliver energy savings of up to 50 percent and will focus on addressing affordable housing in cold and mixed-humid climate regions. The team’s goal is to improve retrofit methodologies by validating cost-effective strategies through test homes and identifying technology gaps that must be addressed. The Dow team includes Michigan State University, Ferris State University, and Habitat for Humanity, with technical contributions from Duke Energy, DTE, and Exelon.

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE), Cambridge, Mass., will deploy large-scale energy savings by integrating efficiency and renewable energy systems in new and existing homes. The team members have extensive experience in whole-house system integration research, from simulation through commissioning. Team partners include Owens Corning, researchers from MIT, Conservation Services Group, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Austin Housing and Economic Development and several additional team members from the residential buildings community.

Integrated Building and Construction Solutions (IBACOS), Pittsburgh, will develop and demonstrate integrated systems of design, procurement, construction, quality assurance, and marketing needed to transform residential retrofits and new construction across the U.S. IBACOS team members include Advanced Energy, Criterium Engineers, EcoBroker International, GreenHomes America, and the Potomack Group, along with a range of experienced residential building scientists, researchers, architects, green building realtors, retrofit specialists, program evaluators, and trainers.

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center Industry Partnership for High Performing Homes. The NAHB Research Center is located in Upper Marlboro, Md., and has over 40 years of experience as an integrated, system-based technology advancement center with the primary mission of removing technological and regulatory barriers to innovation by leveraging its access to remodelers and home builders. Team members include Southface Energy Institute, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Business Excellence Consulting, Brick by Brick, Residential Building Industry Consulting Services, Concurrent Technologies Corp., Greenbelt Homes, and others.

National Energy Leadership Corps (NELC)led by Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa. The NELC will focus on a new approach to home and homeowner assessment that facilitates multiple levels of energy efficiency measures for existing homes including modest and low-cost improvements, extensive energy retrofits, occupant interactions, and the introduction of advanced energy controls and renewable energy technologies. NELC Team members include SmartDwell, Sequentric Energy Systems, Envinity, GroundedPower, ONTILITY, Eaton Corp., Lutron Corp., Schneider Electric, Pittsburgh Green Innovators, Partnership for Achieving Construction Excellence (PACE), Conservation Consultants, East Liberty Development, and the Green Building Alliance.

NorthernSTAR Energy Efficient Housing Research Partnership Teamled by the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. This team will develop and deploy high performance energy-efficient solutions for new and existing homes in cold and severe cold climates. Team members include the Center for Energy and the Environment, Building Knowledge, Building Green, Hunt Utilities Group, Verified Green, Energy Center of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corps, McGregor Pearce, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, University of Wisconsin, and Wagner Zaun Architecture.

Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR)led by the Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, Ill. PARR has experience in design, development, integration, and testing of advanced building energy equipment, components, and systems in laboratory and test house settings. The team will focus on improving performance, quality, and market acceptance of residential retrofits in cold climates. Team members include CNT Energy, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois, and Future Energy Enterprises, among others.

For more information, visit the DOE Building Technologies Program website at www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/.

Publication date:07/26/2010