EERE 'Buildings Prioritization Tool' Helps Shape EERE Projects

Project Overview
Positive Impact: EERE Buildings Prioritization Tool supports evidence-based decision making, leads to smarter investment in energy efficiency, and helps set national goals for efficiency.
Locations: Nationwide
Partners: United Technologies Research Center, Unico, Inc., Stone Mountain Technologies, Inc., University of Maryland, University of Idaho, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The EERE “Buildings Prioritization Tool” has supported evidence-based decision making, led to smarter investment in energy efficiency, and helped set national goals for efficiency. EERE must make investment decisions within resource constraints to maximize value and for the taxpayer. Strategic programs created a novel tool for supporting these decisions and simultaneously estimating the potential impacts of EERE efficiency activities. The tool is primarily for the Building Technologies Office, but is serving as a model for useful analysis across the office. The project team identified and characterized more than 770 energy efficiency measures through comprehensive literature review. The tool allows evaluation of portfolios of investments in R&D and deployment efforts of these measures. Applying the tool demonstrates multiple pathways to achieve approximately 50% energy savings from the baseline projected building energy use in 2030. It further demonstrates that the average cost of these savings is less than half the production cost of energy.

These outputs have also been used to support national energy efficiency goals. The tool was used to develop specifications for a fiscal year 2012 funding opportunity; from that opportunity, EERE is funding six projects who are working hard to meet those specifications. These projects, located in California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee will work to advance whole home energy performance. Project categories and respective awardees include the following:

  • High Performance Air Source Cold Climate Heat Pumps—United Technologies Research Center
  • Alternative Space-Heating Systems —Unico, Inc. and Stone Mountain Technologies, Inc.
  • Next-Generation Heat Exchangers for Electric Vapor-Compression Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners—University of Maryland
  • Advanced Roofing/Attic Solutions—University of Idaho
  • Highly Insulating Windows—Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Office of Strategic Programs helps EERE promote the development, commercialization, and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

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