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Driving Energy Savings: DOE Invests $46 Million to Boost Building Efficiency and Reduce Emissions Nationwide

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In a significant stride towards President Biden’s ambitious Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled a substantial $46 million fund to finance 29 projects dispersed across 15 states. The primary goal of these initiatives is to cultivate advanced building technologies and retrofit methodologies that not only promote well-being in households and communities but also curtail energy waste. This substantial investment stems from the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) funding opportunity, which seeks to propel the adoption of cost-effective solutions for nationwide building electrification. Concurrently, these efforts are anticipated to enhance energy efficiency and demand flexibility, ultimately driving toward a greener future. With a vision to execute pioneering decarbonization strategies on a large scale, these projects hold the potential to drastically diminish greenhouse gas emissions within the building sector. 

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The comprehensive range of initiatives aims to eliminate needless energy consumption while simultaneously alleviating pressure on the national electric grid. The acceleration of revolutionary technologies that enhance building resilience while combatting localized pollution remains a pivotal facet of the administration’s commitment to tackling the pressing climate crisis and building a clean energy future.

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm expressed, “Exploring new ways to build and operate America’s buildings is key to cutting harmful emissions and combatting the climate crisis. With this funding, the Department is providing critical new resources to teams from across the nation to transform game-changing ideas into innovative solutions, creating safer and healthier homes and buildings while cutting energy costs.” 

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Residential and commercial buildings stand as the largest consumers of energy within the U.S. economy, single-handedly contributing to around 40% of the nation’s energy consumption, 74% of its electricity usage, and 35% of its total carbon emissions. Estimates emphasize that nearly one-third, if not more, of energy utilized by buildings, goes to waste, incurring an annual expense of approximately $150 billion. The integration of current technologies and the emergence of fresh innovations assume the utmost importance to expedite the enhancement of energy efficiency across the United States, simultaneously driving the decarbonization of on-site processes. These initiatives are also in line with the prioritization of environmental and energy justice objectives.

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The DOE remains dedicated to reducing the energy intensity and related carbon emissions associated with homes and commercial buildings. This is achieved through the endorsement of cost-effective practices and technologies. The handpicked projects will act as catalysts for groundbreaking innovations, spearheading sustained progress in the field. Over half of the selected ventures will concentrate on refining space conditioning and water heating, accounting for slightly more than half of the overall energy consumption in American households. The remaining endeavors are poised to revolutionize other crucial components that impact residential and commercial structures.

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