Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) selected two state energy offices, four local governments, and a State Judicial Council to install and evaluate promising building technologies and systems in commercial and multi-family buildings.

DOE expects these installations to significantly improve building energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and building-to-grid capabilities. Governments in California, Kansas, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin were competitively selected to partner with the DOE Building Technologies Office’s Commercial Buildings Integration Program and the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office’s State Energy Program to demonstrate how new technologies and operational improvements perform when integrated into real-world commercial and multi-family buildings.

“Testing, measurement, and verification of advanced building technologies in real-world conditions is a fundamental step in the research and development process,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Our partnerships with these state and local governments will help us de-risk and accelerate the adoption of advanced and affordable building technologies more widely. These technologies can improve the energy efficiency of America’s homes, businesses, and industries today–and drive further innovation tomorrow.”

Seven projects, funded through the Building Technologies Proving Ground – Public Sector Field Validation Funding Opportunity announced in June 2020, will prove to researchers, technology providers, industry partners, and end-users how well novel and existing but not widely used technologies can improve building performance and expand the benefits and value buildings can provide to the electric grid. These projects will capture and disseminate detailed data on the energy use, cost savings, interoperability, durability, and maintenance of the installed technologies, which include advanced building sensors and controls that use artificial intelligence to control refrigeration loads; gas absorption heat pumps for hot water heating; heat pump water heaters; triple-paned window retrofits; connected lighting systems; building automation systems; and thermal energy storage systems that use phase-change materials to store and release heat.

Taken together, these efforts demonstrate DOE’s commitment to accelerating the adoption of advanced building technologies through rigorous field validation.

“Homeowners and building owners need information like this when considering options to upgrade their homes and offices. It gives them assurances that best-available technologies like these will truly provide the energy, environmental, comfort and savings benefits they expect,” said DOE’s Building Technologies Office Director David Nemtzow. “These projects will ensure innovative technologies work as well in the real world as they do in the lab.”

“We are excited and ready to work with our public sector stakeholders to test out these innovative technologies for improving energy efficiency for homeowners, business owners, and state and local governments,” said EERE’s Weatherization & Intergovernmental Programs (WIP) Director AnnaMaria Garcia. “Without a doubt, our collaboration with state and local entities is pivotal to realizing the benefits of these advanced building technologies. Once these technologies have been demonstrated in the real world by these projects, our goal is that other state and local governments will adopt them in their communities. Then these innovative solutions can help drive economic growth.”

Read this article to learn more about these selected projects and this blog about how field-validation efforts like the Building Technologies Proving Ground – Public Sector Field Validation Funding Opportunity advance DOE’s priorities.