DOE to fund 29 building efficiency, emissions projects across 15 states with $46M

Published on August 09, 2023 by Chris Galford

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Under the newly launched Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) funding opportunity, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will put $46 million to an array of projects nationwide dedicated to boosting energy efficiency and cutting building emissions.

In all, 29 projects from 15 states will benefit. These range from the development of advanced building technologies to retrofit practices that would allow residential and commercial buildings alike to cut operating costs, reduce energy waste and improve community health. Currently, residential and commercial buildings represent the largest energy consuming sector of the U.S. economy, at approximately 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption, 74 percent of its electricity use and 35 percent of its total carbon emissions.

Even those figures don’t do justice to the waste. According to the DOE, one-third or more of that energy used is wasted, costing $150 billion annually.

“Exploring new ways to build and operate America’s buildings is key to cutting harmful emissions and combatting the climate crisis,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “With this funding, the Department is providing critical new resources to teams from across the nation to transform game-changing ideas into innovative solutions, creating safer and healthier homes and buildings while cutting energy costs.”

For these efforts, DOE hopes to both improve efficiency through new innovations and decarbonize on-site processes, while pursuing environmental and energy justice priorities. More than half of the 29 projects chosen will seek advances to space conditioning and water heating. Others focus on a range of items from thermal energy storage and battery energy storage, to lighting and insulation.