WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the availability of up to $5.2 million in fiscal year 2012 to develop improved building efficiency technologies, including advanced heating and cooling systems and improved building envelope solutions. DOE said this funding will advance the research, development, demonstration, and manufacture of innovative building technologies to speed the commercialization of high-performance products.

According to DOE, homes and commercial buildings consume approximately 40 percent of the energy used in the United States, costing American consumers more than $400 billion, and nearly a third of that energy is used for HVAC. Advancing HVAC building technologies and improving the design and materials that make up a building’s envelope can significantly reduce the cost of heating and cooling residential and commercial buildings, said DOE, while also cutting carbon emissions and reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

DOE is seeking applicants for up to $5.2 million in funding to support breakthroughs in energy-saving HVAC systems and building envelope solutions. Eligible mechanical HVAC system projects should aim to increase the efficiency of cost-effective systems and components suitable for both existing buildings and new construction. Eligible building envelope projects will focus on advancing high-performance, cost-effective solutions to minimize energy loss in homes and commercial buildings. DOE is particularly interested in proposals for innovative technologies for use in existing buildings, especially if they can help accelerate adoption of energy efficient building upgrades.

As part of a planned three-year initiative, Congress has appropriated an initial $5.2 million in fiscal year 2012, including $1.2 million for HVAC and building envelope projects that develop advanced manufacturing processes or equipment to help lower the life-cycle energy cost of manufactured products and improve the performance of energy efficient building technologies. DOE plans to make additional requests totaling $10.8 million to Congress over the next two years to support these building efficiency technologies.

Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. Eastern Time on April 17, 2012. For more information on this funding opportunity — DE-FOA-0000621: Energy Savings through Improved Mechanical Systems and Building Envelope Technologies — go to https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/.

Publication date: 03/19/2012