Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced 15 research-and-deployment partnerships to help dramatically improve the energy efficiency of American homes. These highly qualified, multidisciplinary teams will receive a total of up to $30 million for the initial 18 months of the projects to deliver innovative energy efficiency strategies to the residential market, and address barriers to bringing high-efficiency homes within reach for all Americans.
A total of up to $20 million per year will also be made available for the partnerships of three potential one-year extensions. These research-and-deployment partnerships will provide technical assistance to retrofit projects, and will leverage industry expertise and funding to support DOE's energy-efficiency retrofit programs.
This effort will support the department's Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative, announced by Vice President Joe Biden in April [see GoodBiz113 article, "Vice President Biden Kicks Off Earth Day Activities; 25 Communities Selected for Recovery Act 'Retrofit Ramp-Up' Energy-Efficiency Awards"], which brings communities, governments, private-sector companies and nonprofit organizations together to deliver energy-efficiency upgrades, or retrofits, to entire neighborhoods and cities.
"Home energy efficiency is one of the easiest, most immediate and most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon pollution and save money on energy bills, while creating new jobs," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu [pictured]. "By developing and using tools to reduce residential energy use, we will spur economic growth here in America, and help homeowners make cost-cutting improvements in their homes."
The partnerships announced today will provide additional support to ongoing retrofit initiatives that are making cost-effective energy efficiency retrofits easily accessible to hundreds of thousands of American homes and businesses. These partnerships will research and deploy new technologies and demonstration projects, and provide systems engineering, quality assurance, and outreach for retrofit projects throughout the country.
Existing techniques and technologies in energy efficiency retrofitting -- such as air-tight ducts, windows and doors; heating and cooling systems; insulation and caulking -- can reduce energy use by up to 40 percent per home, and cut energy bills by $40 billion annually.
The following selections were made though the DOE Building Technologies Program, which forges research partnerships across the residential building industry to develop cost-effective solutions that dramatically reduce the average energy use of housing while improving comfort and quality. To find out more, visit http://bit.ly/BuildingTechDOE.
To further support the broad deployment of energy-efficient building retrofits, DOE is hosting the Residential Building Energy Efficiency Meeting 2010 in Denver, Col., from July 20-22, to present cutting-edge research results; identify key stakeholder and market transformation needs; and facilitate collaboration opportunities between conference participants. This conference is targeted to researchers, architects, contractors, manufacturers, builders, utilities, legislators, lenders, realtors, auditors, raters, installation technicians, homeowner association representatives, and anyone else interested in creating substantial connections with the field.
The following is a brief description of the selected teams -- each of which will receive between $500,000 and $2.5 million, depending on their performance:
* Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions [ARIES], led by Levy Partnership of New York, N.Y. ARIES will focus on energy solutions for new and existing affordable housing, including factory- and site-built homes. ARIES is a broad-based industry team of more than 50 organizations, including implementers, product suppliers and trainers. The ARIES technical team members include CDH Energy, Southern Energy Management, Syracuse University Center of Excellence, and NTA Inc.
* Alliance for Residential Building Innovation [ARBI], led by Davis Energy Group [DEG] of Davis, Cal. ARBI will focus on resolving technical and market barriers to large-scale implementation of innovative energy solutions for new and existing homes. Team members are effectively aligned for retrofit activities -- providing considerable experience in audits, home-performance contracting, marketing and finance. Specific partners include Rocky Mountain Institute, UC Davis, Heschong Mahone Group, Green Home Solutions, and Bevilacqua-Knight.
* Building America Retrofit Alliance [BARA], led by Building Media Inc [BMI], based out of Wilmington, Del., and the New Jersey Institute of Technology [NJIT], located in Newark, N.J. BARA will focus on innovative market-delivery strategies to improve energy efficiency in our nation's existing housing stock. This team has very unique capabilities in the areas of training and outreach. Additional team members include Steve Easley and Associates, Confluence Communications, DuPont, Louisiana State University, Enterprise Community Partners, Institute for Business and Home Safety, and Hancock Software, among others.
* Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction [BA-PIRC] research team, led by the Florida Solar Energy Center [FSEC], a research institute of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla. BA-PIRC will focus on cost-effective efficiency solutions for new and existing homes in hot, humid and marine climates. FSEC possesses extensive residential energy research facilities, including the Manufactured Housing Laboratory, the Flexible Roof Facility, the Building Science Lab, the Hot Water Systems Laboratory, and the Climate-Controlled Air Conditioning Laboratory. Team members include Newport Partners [NP], Washington State University [WSU], Northwest Energy Works [N.E.W.], Residential Energy Services Network [RESNET], Building Performance Institute [BPI], WellHome, Florida Home Energy and Resources Organization [Florida H.E.R.O.], Calcs-Plus [CP] and TexEnergy Solutions.
* Building Energy Efficient Homes for America [BEEHA], led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln [UNL] and the University of Florida [UF], headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., and Gainesville, Fla., respectively. This team possesses impressive simulation and computing facilities, as well as building systems research laboratories. This multidisciplinary research team will explore and deliver systems-engineered solutions for new and existing homes. Industry partners for this team include HearthStone Homes, Rezac Construction, Barry Rutenberg and Associates, G.W. Robinson Homes, Tommy Williams, and Johnson Controls.
* Building Industry Research Alliance [BIRA], led by ConSol with headquarters in Stockton, Cal. BIRA's research will focus on energy and peak reduction in homes by evaluating technologies and market-delivery approaches for neighborhood-scale implementation. The research will target a diversity of homes and a variety of strategies for retrofit implementation. Team members include more than 80 research organizations and building industry partners, such as Washington State University, Arizona State University, UC Davis, General Electric, Ennovationz, Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, San Diego Gas & Electric, Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, and Bank of America.
* Building Science Corporation [BSC] in Somerville, Mass., is a leading developer of energy systems for durable, high-performance homes. With an impressive depth of capabilities in all key areas required to complete the proposed research, BSC will focus on advanced technical solutions, code barriers, and market demonstrations for new and existing homes. The BSC team includes Affordable Comfort, ARES Consulting, Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, DEAP Energy Group, National Grid, and a wide array of material suppliers and manufacturers.
* Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings [CARB], led by Steven Winter Associates Inc., Norwalk, Conn. The CARB team has extensive experience successfully conducting and completing team-based advanced building systems research, whole-house research, and outreach. The CARB team will focus on innovative market delivery and cost-effective demonstrations of high-performance retrofits and new homes. Team members include MaGrann Associates, Alliance to Save Energy's BCAP, Pratt Center for Community Development, University of Florida's PREC, Green Builder Media, Jay Hall and Associates, Masco, and a broad spectrum of additional stakeholders in the residential energy industry.
* Habitat Cost Effective Energy Retrofit Program Team, led by Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Mich. This team will focus on applying innovative retrofit technologies, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. These efficiency technologies can deliver energy savings up to 50 percent, and will focus on addressing affordable housing in cold and mixed-humid climate regions. The team's vision is to improve retrofit methodologies by validating cost-effective strategies through test homes, and identifying technology gaps that must be addressed. The Dow team includes Michigan State University, Ferris State University and Habitat for Humanity, with technical contributions from Duke Energy, DTE, and Exelon.
* Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems [CSE] in Cambridge, Mass., will deploy large-scale energy savings by integrating efficiency and renewable energy systems in new and existing homes. The team members have extensive experience in whole-house system integration research -- from simulation through commissioning. Team partners include Owens Corning, researchers from MIT, Conservation Services Group, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Austin Housing and Economic Development, plus several additional team members from the residential buildings community.
* Integrated Building and Construction Solutions [IBACOS] in Pittsburgh, Penn., will develop and demonstrate integrated systems of design, procurement, construction, quality assurance and marketing needed to transform residential retrofits and new construction across the U.S. IBACOS team members include Advanced Energy, Criterium Engineers, EcoBroker International, GreenHomes America, and the Potomack Group -- along with a wide range of highly experienced residential building scientists, researchers, architects, green-building realtors, retrofit specialists, program evaluators and trainers.
* National Association of Home Builders [NAHB] Research Center Industry Partnership for High Performing Homes. The NAHB Research Center is located in Upper Marlboro, Md., and has over 40 years of experience as an integrated, system-based technology advancement center with the primary mission of removing technological and regulatory barriers to innovation by leveraging its access to remodelers and home builders. Team members include Southface Energy Institute, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Business Excellence Consulting, Brick by Brick, Residential Building Industry Consulting Services, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Greenbelt Homes, plus many others.
* National Energy Leadership Corps [NELC], led by Pennsylvania State University in State College, Penn. The NELC will focus on a new approach to home and homeowner assessment that facilitates multiple levels of energy-efficiency measures for existing homes -- including modest and low-cost improvements, extensive energy retrofits, occupant interactions, and the introduction of advanced energy controls and renewable-energy technologies. NELC team members include a broad diversity of partners, such as SmartDwell, Sequentric Energy Systems, Envinity, GroundedPower, ONTILITY, Eaton Corporation, Lutron Corporation, Schneider Electric, Pittsburgh Green Innovators, Partnership for Achieving Construction Excellence [PACE], Conservation Consultants, East Liberty Development, and the Green Building Alliance.
* NorthernSTAR Energy Efficient Housing Research Partnership Team, led by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. The NorthernSTAR team embraces the philosophy that achieving optimal energy efficiency in houses, neighborhoods and communities requires a holistic performance approach, using an integrated implementation process. This team will develop and deploy high-performance energy-efficient solutions for new and existing homes in cold and severe cold climates. Team members include the Center for Energy and the Environment, Building Knowledge, Building Green, Hunt Utilities Group, Verified Green, Energy Center of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corps, McGregor Pearce, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the University of Wisconsin, and Wagner Zaun Architecture.
* Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit [PARR], led by the Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Ill. PARR has strong experience in design, development, integration, and testing of advanced building energy equipment, components and systems in laboratory and test house settings. The team will focus on improving performance, quality and market acceptance of residential retrofits in cold climates. Team members include CNT Energy, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois, and Future Energy Enterprises, among others.
Kudos to Secretary Chu for once again exercising his distinct brand of vision and leadership to fuel such a far-reaching and innovative endeavor that holds so much long-term potential. Current and future generations -- not to mention, American small businesses, our economy and the environment -- will greatly benefit from funding these win-win-win synergies.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy
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