DOE plans $346 million for building energy efficiency programs

As part of Energy Secretary Chu's green initiatives, stimulus funding will attempt to reduce the energy consumption of buildings.


In a week that already has seen monumental steps toward national energy efficiency , the Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced $346 million for building energy efficiency programs, according to an article in Greentech Media. The programs include research for net-zero buildings and solid-state lighting as well as job training for retrofits.

U.S. buildings use about two-fifths of the country's energy, according to the DOE. Energy Secretary Steven Chu pointed to buildings as a key target for saving energy; as 75% of buildings were built before 1979, there is much retrofitting to be done. DOE would like to see buildings efficiently built, designed, and operated as an "integrated system."

Research into solid-state lighting will receive $50 million, which follows the announcement of new federal lighting guidelines that will take effect in 2012.

"Advanced building systems research" will receive $100 million, with the goal to create "net-zero" buildings that will generate as much energy as they consume. This also relates to the Commercial Buildings Initiative that was launched last year and also received $53.5 million this week. The money will expand the number of companies involved from 25 to 73.

DOE money will also help prepare builders and regulators for more stringent building codes and expand energy rating systems that will help transform the building and appliance market.

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