WASHINGTON — As part of the Obama administration’s blueprint for an American economy built to last, Energy Secretary Steven Chu 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 high-efficiency insulation, windows, and roofs. The funding will advance the research, development, demonstration, and manufacture of innovative building technologies to speed the commercialization of affordable, high-performance products that will save money for American families and businesses.

The Department of Energy (DOE) reports that homes and commercial buildings consume approximately 40 percent of the energy used in the U.S., costing American consumers more than $400 billion. Nearly a third of that energy is used for HVAC operations. 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 to heat and cool residential and commercial buildings, while providing a tremendous opportunity to cut carbon emissions and reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

DOE seeks 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, and attractive 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 $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 innovative building efficiency technologies.

Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. Eastern time, April 17. For more information, visit https://eere-exchange.energy.gov.

Publication date: 04/02/2012