This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 28, 2010

DOE Announces $30 Million for Energy-Efficient Housing Partnerships

Photo of a house with shades and suncreens.

Special No. 9 House, designed to fit New Orleans' heritage, is an example of energy efficiency with sun screens and solar power panels.
Credit: John C. Williams Architects

DOE announced on July 20 funding for 15 research and deployment partnerships to help improve the energy efficiency of American homes. For the first 18 months of the funded projects, multidisciplinary teams will receive a total of up to $30 million to deliver innovative energy efficiency strategies to the residential market and to break down barriers to high-efficiency homes. The 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.

Funded projects, which were selected though the DOE Building Technologies Program, will each receive between $500,000 and $2.5 million. The Habitat Cost Effective Energy Retrofit Program Team—Dow Chemical Company, Michigan State University, Ferris State University, and Habitat for Humanity—will apply innovative retrofit technologies to affordable housing in cold and mixed-humid climate regions. Colder climates are the target of the NorthernSTAR Energy Efficient Housing Research Partnership Team led by the University of Minnesota. This team will develop and deploy high performance energy-efficient solutions for new and existing homes in cold and severe cold climates. Other projects will focus on efficiency solutions for homes in hot humid and marine climates, and on affordable housing, technical and market barriers, market delivery strategies, and systems-engineered solutions.

The partnerships will explore new methods and use existing techniques in energy efficiency retrofitting. According to DOE, existing retrofitting technologies—such as air-tight ducts, windows and doors—can reduce energy use by up to 40% per home and could cut U.S. energy bills by $40 billion annually. See the DOE press release for a complete list of recipients, the Building Technologies Program Web site, and the DOE Retrofit initiative press release.