Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input on a potential funding opportunity to demonstrate and evaluate the capacity of energy-efficient buildings to interact with one another and the grid to provide greater degrees of demand flexibility at scale. The Notice of Intent for the “Connected Communities” funding opportunity was announced in early February.

A connected community is a group of grid-interactive efficient buildings with diverse, flexible end-use equipment that collectively work to maximize building and grid efficiency without compromising occupant needs and comfort. Connected communities leverage smart technology, distributed energy resources, flexible loads, and grid integration to cost-effectively reduce energy use and peak demand while improving the occupant experience.

The RFI issued today allows a wide range of stakeholders to work with DOE on issues related to connected communities and help design and shape the goals of a potential “Connected Communities” funding opportunity.

DOE is working toward a future in which buildings serve as reliable grid assets that operate dynamically with the grid to make electricity more affordable. DOE’s investment in connected communities supports its Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings research initiative, which explores how smart building technologies and practices enable American businesses and families to save energy and reduce their utility bills while protecting their comfort and productivity.

EERE's Building Technologies Office (BTO), in collaboration with the Vehicle Technologies Office, Solar Energy Technologies Office and DOE’s Office of Electricity, will manage the potential funding opportunity. EERE anticipates awarding 4-6 projects for up to $7 million each in the form of cooperative agreements, or up to $42 million. At present, EERE intends to issue the funding opportunity in the summer of 2020 via the EERE Exchange.

Responses to the RFI must be submitted electronically to no later than Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 5 p.m. E.T. Read and respond to the full RFI.

To learn more about this RFI and potential funding opportunity announcement, register for the webinar. BTO will administer it twice, so choose the most convenient time for you.

  • Friday, April 3, 2020 | 1 – 3 pm E.T. 
  • Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 3 – 5 pm E.T. 

Learn more about the Connected Communities program.