The grant will allow ECR International to develop and commercialize a device that will enable gas-fired home heating appliances to simultaneously generate electricity and heat. Successful development of this new technology, micro-cogeneration, will ultimately cut consumer utility bills and provide backup power in the event of an electricity outage, such as last year's massive Northeast blackout.
Last year, DOE officials established a competitive research program in micro-cogeneration technology development. In the inaugural national competition, ECR International won a $500,000 grant over two years.
Micro-cogeneration technology could someday revolutionize the home-heating industry, help save energy, and reduce consumer utility bills. After a yearlong effort that included a visit to Utica by Assistant Secretary of Energy David Garman, DOE established a program to develop micro-cogeneration technology for use in homes. ECR was able to win the largest award in the first round.
Tom Reed, chairman of the board of ECR International, said: "On behalf of the 500+ employees of ECR International, we want to thank the Department of Energy for this award and we particularly want to thank Congressman Boehlert for his support of our request and his faith in the ability of ECR International to bring the development of our micro-cogeneration products to fruition. As we come closer and closer to finalizing the development of a marketable product, we are very appreciative of this financial support for our research and development.
"We are quite comfortable that we will soon have a marketable product that will require additional employees to manufacture and otherwise support, and will, at the same time, help to reduce the use of energy in homes by simultaneously producing heat and electricity."
Publication date: 06/28/2004