The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $4 million in funding to develop and demonstrate new energy efficiency solutions for homes through its Building America program.
According to The ACHR News, DOE’s Building America program develops cutting-edge innovations and resources with industry partners to spur the residential buildings market to adopt energy efficiency measures that will provide 50 percent savings in new homes by 2025 and 40 percent savings in existing homes by 2030.
A major focus of the work is home heating and cooling.
Typically, said DOE, heating and cooling account for 40 percent of a home’s energy consumption, the largest single energy use and more than water heating, refrigeration, and lighting combined.
In 2014, U.S. homeowners spent $70 billion to heat their homes and $24 billion to cool them. Improving the energy efficiency of home HVAC systems and building envelopes (roof, walls, and windows) could reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling by as much as 70 percent.
For these Building America projects, teams will focus on developing and implementing solutions to three inter-related core technical challenges: high performance building envelope assemblies and systems; optimal comfort systems for heating and cooling, air distribution, and humidity control; and high performance ventilation systems and IAQ strategies.
DOE will fund projects that develop and demonstrate integrated solutions to any or all of these core technical challenges and primarily focus on solutions for the hot/humid, mixed humid, and cold climate zones.
Together these climate zones cover most of the country, but have very different requirements. These projects will demonstrate techniques that address these requirements, while promoting energy efficiency at a reasonable cost and preserving indoor air quality.