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Energy Department Invests $6 Million to Support Commercial Building Efficiency

July 24, 2014 - 5:08pm

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The Energy Department today announced up to $6 million in funding to deploy and demonstrate four emerging energy-saving technologies in commercial buildings across the country. These projects will help businesses cut energy costs through improved efficiency, while also reducing carbon pollution. Last year, commercial buildings consumed about 20 percent of all energy used in the United States at an estimated cost of nearly $180 billion, and are responsible for 18 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions.

The projects announced today will generate data, case studies, and information intended to help commercial building owners adopt new energy efficient technologies, including advanced ventilation, building energy use optimization software, more efficient commercial refrigeration fan motors, and advanced lighting controls. The selected projects include:

  • enVerid Systems (Houston, Texas) - enVerid will retrofit building ventilation systems with modules that remove indoor air pollutants such as carbon dioxide. This enables the indoor air to be recycled while greatly reducing the amount of outside air ventilated into the building and reducing the loads on the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Facilities could experience significant energy savings with this retrofit technology.  Ten separate commercial building demonstrations will be conducted over 3 years. 
  • BuildingIQ, Inc. (Foster City, California) – BuildingIQ will optimize HVAC energy use across commercial buildings using Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO), a cloud-based software application that runs on top of existing building automation systems. PEO uses data from weather forecasts, utility tariffs, demand response event signals, and occupant schedules to automatically adjust energy-consuming building systems. These adjustments are based on building-specific modeling that PEO uses over time employing building use data, as well as predictive algorithms and advanced control strategies. Sixteen separate building demonstrations will be conducted.
  • QM Power, Inc. (Lee’s Summit, Missouri) - QM Power has developed high efficiency  7-16 watt fan motors that are often used in commercial refrigeration systems.  QM Power intends to install and demonstrate approximately 12,000 high efficiency fans in more than 50 grocery stores throughout the U.S., focusing on open display case retrofits that could result in significant efficiency improvements. If fully adopted, the motor application has the potential to achieve more than 0.6 quads in energy savings and reduce energy costs by $1 billion. 
  • Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (Lexington, Massachusetts) - The project is designed to further the implementation of advanced lighting controls (ALCs), which turn off or dim lights when they are not in use. The project will demonstrate and evaluate two or more ALC technologies in 10 buildings, which should experience significant energy savings compared to a traditional lighting retrofit without controls. Designers and installers will be trained to use the technologies. The demonstration results will be used to support development of utility incentive programs to help further drive adoption of ACLs.

The Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information on building technologies, visit the Building Technologies Office website

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