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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation - Concept paper DUE Nov 5th

BTO’s overall goal is to improve the energy productivity of buildings without sacrificing occupant comfort or product performance. Progress towards achieving this goal will make building energy costs more affordable to the benefit of American families and businesses. Building energy performance and the efficiency and affordability of consumer products have improved across the design, construction and product development industries due in large part to DOE research and development, leveraging an array of technologies supported by BTO. This has helped result in increased adoption of energy efficient technologies.

For example, today, light emitting diodes (LEDs) account for over 30% of all general lighting applications, up from less than 1% in 2010. DOE projects that by 2030, LEDs will reach 80% of all lighting sales, saving Americans $26 billion per year in electricity costs3. Other examples include refrigerators and windows. Today, more than 100 million refrigerators in homes across the country use an advanced compressor that can trace its roots to DOE’s Research and Development (R&D) activities in globally8, 9.5 billion of which are internet-of-things (IOT) devices9 and the market for these devices is accelerating rapidly. In 2015 this market was expected to grow by about 20% annually, it is now projected to grow by 39% annually. BTO’s grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEB) research will take advantage of the potential energy savings associated with these devices across the entire building sector, commercial and residential alike.

The GEB vision will allow American businesses and families to save energy and reduce their utility bills automatically and without impacting comfort or productivity by allowing buildings to provide grid services through flexible building loads. BTO is an active participant in DOE’s broader Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), a comprehensive effort of different DOE offices and national laboratories with public and private partners to help shape the future of our nation’s grid. BTO has issued the BENEFIT FOA annually since 2014.

The 2020 BENEFIT FOA will invest up to $80 million across 2 topic areas to allow all interested parties to research and develop high-impact technologies and practices that will improve energy productivity, improve flexibility, security and resilience, as well as lower energy costs.

Topic 1: Building Technology Research, Development and Field Validation: High-impact, affordable building technologies to improve energy productivity and demand flexibility without negatively impacting occupant comfort.

Topic 2: Advanced Building Construction: Building envelope R&D and field validation as well as integration of technological and other advances into massproduced building practices for manufactured homes and modular classrooms, including training issues such as improving quality installations and quality control.

The 2020 BENEFIT FOA permits a broader range of applications, which will help BTO to select the highest-impact awards and fulfill the most important needs for innovation. Applicants to this FOA may consider including field validation as part of their approach to verify technologies and integration practices. Field validation may be used to identify gaps in design and in-field performance. It can be used to support method development data verification, collection, management, and analysis. Applicants may consider third-party validation where beneficial.

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