Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced its intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on behalf of the Building Technologies Office (BTO) called “Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) - 2022.” This FOA would fund the development, validation, and demonstration of novel building technologies and retrofit practices that have significant potential for equitable carbon savings through building electrification, energy efficiency, and demand flexibility.

Residential and commercial buildings are the single largest energy-consuming sector of the U.S. economy, representing approximately 39% of U.S. total energy consumption and 74% of its electricity use, which makes buildings responsible for 35% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. It is estimated that one-third or more of the energy used by buildings is wasted, and with it as much as $150 billion annually.

This FOA intends to fund advancements in the following areas of interest to improve the energy and environmental performance of buildings across the country and enhance building and grid resilience, improve the affordability of efficient technologies and practices, create good jobs, and ensure environmental justice and the inclusion of underserved communities.

  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Water Heating (WH), with subtopics on Components R&D for Residential and Commercial HVAC/WH Air-Source Heat Pumps; HVAC/WH Cost Compression Solutions, Commercial Low Global Warming Potential Cold Climate Rooftop Heat Pumps, and Commercial Heat Pump Water Heater Development and Demonstrations.
  • Thermal Energy Storage (TES), with a subtopic on Plug-and-Play Modular Thermal Energy Storage Systems Development.
  • Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), with subtopics on Innovative BESS Integration and Coordination Strategies and Net-zero Emissions BESS Validation and Analysis.
  • Plug Loads/Lighting, with a subtopic on Integrating Connected Lighting with Plug Load Control to Support Building Electrification.
  • Opaque Building Envelopes, with subtopics on R5+ Insulated Cladding for Residential Field Applied Applications; Cost Compression Solutions for Building Insulation Retrofit Technologies; and Air Leakage Diagnostic and Air Sealing Technologies.

To prepare for the release of this FOA, prospective applicants are encouraged to read the full notice of intent (DE-FOA-0002787) on EERE Exchange, which describes the intended FOA more fully, with more details about its motivation and how to prepare for its tentative release in late December 2022 or early January 2023.