On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm announced a new national initiative that EERE’s Building Technologies Office will lead to advance clean heating and cooling systems in buildings.
Watch a recording of her remarks at the White House’s Principals Buildings Roundtable here.
The Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3 Initiative) will focus on advancing the research, development, and national deployment of clean heating and cooling systems that include heat pumps, advanced water heaters, low-to-no global warming potential refrigerants, and smarter HVAC diagnostic tools in residential and commercial buildings. Over the coming decade, the E3 Initiative and its partners nationwide will strive to transform the heating and cooling marketplace, making affordable, clean and efficient solutions easily available across America.
Through the E3 Initiative, DOE will work closely with partners to develop regional solutions that support both technology innovations and accelerate deployment. To inaugurate the E3 Initiative, DOE is launching several efforts focused on making clean, efficient, and grid-connected building technologies easier and cheaper to install and use:
- Launching a Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge to develop affordable and efficient heat pumps for any building owner in any climate. In partnership with heat pump manufacturers, DOE will develop a new technology specification for a high-performance cold climate heat pump, demonstrate its performance in the field, and launch pilot programs with utilities to identify and alleviate installation challenges. DOE will partner with the US Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Canada on this effort.
- Conducting additional research to develop low- to no-global-warming-potential-refrigerants. Through a recently announced call for cooperative research and development agreement proposals, DOE’s National Laboratories will work with industry manufacturers to develop a more energy-efficient, cost-competitive residential heat pump water heater that uses a lower-emission refrigerant and alleviate the market barriers to its commercialization and market acceptance.
The E3 Initiative also places a strong emphasis on activities that can deploy effective heating and cooling technologies that already exist on the marketplace today:
- Through the Better Buildings Initiative, DOE is working with organizations to set commitments and share real world pathways to low and no carbon emission buildings. At the White House Roundtable, DOE Secretary Granholm announced the first 55 commercial, industrial and multifamily organizations participating in the Low Carbon Pilot.
- BTO is partnering with the Advanced Water Heating Initiative, a collaborative, market transformation effort of over 50 organizations that works to catalyze a rapid transition to high-efficiency, grid-connected heat pump water heaters. Heat pump water heaters are a proven technology that is two to four times as efficient as common approaches to providing hot water. Through this partnership, DOE will support manufacturers and utilities on best practice programs aimed to accelerating adoption of heat pump water heaters in American homes. Committed Partners include: Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Southern California Edison, Bonneville Power Administration, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, US Environmental Protection Agency, California Energy Commission, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New Buildings Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, AO Smith, Rheem and Bradford White.
- The Better Buildings Initiative’s Residential HVAC Smart Diagnostic Tools Campaign helps contractors use smart diagnostic tools to more efficiently and affordably commission new HVAC systems and identify energy-sapping malfunctions in existing ones.
- The heating and cooling of buildings can be strongly influenced by its windows. BTO is supporting the new Partnership for Advanced Window Solutions (PAWS) led by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in collaboration with multiple non-government organizations and leading manufacturers that will accelerate the national availability and adoption of highly efficient windows and window attachments that improve comfort and reduce building energy use.
Federal leadership, in close coordination with states and in partnership with the private sector, unions and trades and other key stakeholders, will be needed to catalyze the deployment of these low-carbon solutions. Contact DOE’s Building Technologies Office and the Better Buildings Initiative to partner with DOE on any of these opportunities.