The U.S. Department of Energy has unveiled a $46 million investment in 29 green building projects across 15 states.
This funding, made available through the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) initiative, aims to improve building technologies and retrofit practices to develop energy-efficient residential and commercial structures.
Commercial and residential buildings bear are among the most energy-intensive segment in the United States, and account for nearly 40% of the nation’s energy consumption, 74% of electricity use, and 35% of total carbon emissions. It’s estimated that a third of the energy consumed by buildings is squandered, resulting in an annual cost of $150 billion. The BENEFIT initiative’s goal is to harness existing technologies and use new innovations for expediting the enhancement of energy efficiency and the decarbonization of on-site processes nationwide.
This collective effort enhances decarbonization strategies to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the building sector, curtail energy wastage, and alleviate stress on the nation’s power grid.
Greener Buildings with Less Energy Consumption
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized how this funding can shift how U.S. buildings are built and operated, solutions that can easily lend to reducing harmful emissions. With funding from the DOE, the hope is to create safer commercial and residential buildings all while trimming energy costs.
DOE’s efforts to alleviate energy intensity and carbon emissions in both residential and commercial buildings are anchored in cost-effective technologies and practices. Over 50% of the chosen projects will help advance optimizing space conditioning and water heating – segments constituting more than half of energy consumption in U.S. buildings. The remaining projects will play a pivotal role in elevating other aspects affecting homes and commercial structures.
Toward a Green Energy Landscape
DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) assumes a central role in the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of transformative technologies and solutions. These endeavors align with President Biden’s ambitious plan to guide the country toward net zero by 2050, and EERE intends to ensure clean energy is accessible across the U.S. EERE also plans to generate employment opportunities, particularly for individuals and communities historically underserved by the energy system and disproportionately affected by pollution.