The U.S. Department of Energy announced Friday that it is investing $19 million to improve the efficiency of the nation’s homes, offices, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and stores. The projects will develop advanced building technologies that will help American consumers and businesses save money on their utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs, a press release said.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory received four of the 18 awards.
Buildings are the largest energy consumer in the nation—accounting for more than 40 percent of the nation’s total energy demand and greenhouse emissions, and resulting in an annual energy bill totaling $430 billion, the press release said. On average, nearly a third of this energy is wasted. It’s estimated that if the U.S. reduced energy use in buildings by 20 percent, the nation could save nearly $80 billion annually on energy bills.
The 18 innovative projects announced Friday will develop sensors and energy modeling tools to make buildings smarter, reduce refrigerant leaks and improve the efficiency of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems, and produce a low-impact, gas-powered heat pump that can operate efficiently in colder climates. The projects will also support renewable energy market penetration through energy storage, pinpoint air leaks and reduce energy losses through the building envelope, and cut electricity use by transmitting sunlight to building interiors, the press release said. [Read more…]