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Strengthens commitment to increase efficiency in homes

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced DOE is issuing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that will make available up to $40 million to fund research applications to fundamentally change the way American homes consume energy.  Awards made under this FOA would support research, development and deployment of technologies that will, on average, reduce new home energy use 30-90 percent.  The results of this effort will help advance President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which aims to change the way we power our cars, homes and businesses.  Increased energy efficiency and diversification of clean energy sources is critical to securing our energy future.  Secretary Bodman made today's announcement while addressing the 18th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, DC.

"The biggest source of immediately available 'new' energy is the energy that we waste every day - which is why we need to seize every opportunity to maximize savings," Secretary Bodman said.  "This research will help enable the next generation of energy efficient homes to produce as much energy as they consume, minimizing the energy we currently waste."

Using a systems-engineering approach, this research seeks to: provide new energy efficient products to the market; incorporate innovations into home design; cut construction time; limit waste; and improve builder productivity.  Energy Efficiency Housing Partnership applicants under this FOA are expected to engage architects, engineers, building scientists, builders, equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, community planners, mortgage lenders, realtors, and contractor trades.  This approach brings together building professionals from a variety of sectors to pool expertise and maximize information sharing.

DOE anticipates selecting 4-8 applications to research the energy efficiency of homes and develop formulae for construction of new homes on a community scale.  Subject to Congressional appropriations, funding for these cost-shared projects is expected to begin in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 ($8 million requested in FY'08) and continue through FY 2012.  This investment would total $50 million, with applicants expected to provide 20 percent of the overall funding ($10 million).

This research is part of DOE's Building America project - a public-private partnership - which acts as a catalyst for change in the home-building industry.  Building America develops energy solutions for new and existing homes.  By 2020, the Building America project seeks to enable the production of cost-effective net Zero Energy Homes, which will annually produce as much energy as they use.  Zero Energy Homes combine state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction and appliances with commercially available renewable energy systems such as solar water heating and solar electricity.  The Program's primary goal is to enable industry to adopt systems engineering approaches to the design and construction of a large portion of all new housing.

Additional information on this FOA and the Building America program.

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940