Emerging Technologies

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Photo of a man working: Cultivating New Technologies with Industry Incubator Program.
Cultivating New Technologies with Industry Incubator Program

In 2014, U.S. residential and commercial buildings used more than 40% of the nation’s total energy and more than 70% of the electrical energy, resulting in an estimated annual national energy bill totaling more than $430 billion (Annual Energy Outlook 2015). The Building Technologies Office's (BTO) goal is to reduce the energy use intensity of U.S. buildings by 30% by 2030, relative to 2010.

BTO's Emerging Technologies (ET) Program is helping to meet this goal by enabling cost-effective, energy-efficient technologies to be developed and introduced into the marketplace. ET funds and directs applied research and development (R&D) for technologies and tools that support building energy efficiency. BTO’s Multi-Year Program Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2020 provides a detailed roadmap of our strategies.

The majority of ET funding is distributed competitively through solicitations (i.e., Funding Opportunity Announcements, or FOAs), which in general are open to applications from large industry, small businesses, academia, the national labs, and other entities. ET Projects typically last three years and are prospectively Merit Reviewed by outside subject matter experts. Projects are also retrospectively Peer Reviewed by experts at least once during their three year performance periods.

Technology Subprograms

HVAC, Water Heating, and Appliances
The HVAC/Water Heating/Appliance subprogram develops cost-effective, energy-efficient technologies with national labs and industry partners.
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Windows and Building Envelope
Next-generation windows and building envelope technologies have substantial technical potential to reduce energy consumption in buildings.
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Solid-State Lighting
The Solid-State Lighting Program leads our nation's efforts to drive research and development of innovative LED and OLED technologies.
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Building Energy Modeling
Whole-Building Energy Modeling (BEM) is a multipurpose tool for energy efficiency, supporting design, operations, codes and standards, and research.
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Sensors and Controls
The Sensors and Controls sub-program focuses on wireless sensing, control algorithms, open-source control platforms, and sub-metering.
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Buildings-to-Grid Integration
Integrating buildings and the grid increases energy efficiency, supports incorporation of renewable energy, and balances new loads.
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Publications, Presentations, Tools, and Resources

Technology Reports
Reports from the ET subprogram, including characterizations, assessments, and benefit-cost impact evaluations on R&D activities.
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Technology Roadmaps
Technology Roadmaps are multi-year plans that make recommendations for R&D activities that will aid in achieving BTO’s energy savings goals.
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Workshop Presentations
Select presentations from Emerging Technologies staff and partners.
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Scout is a tool for estimating the energy and carbon impacts of various energy conservation measures (ECMs).
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Past Projects
The past projects of the Building Technologies Office.
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News and Success Stories

Energy Department Announces Funding for 16 Small Businesses to Stimulate American Innovation in Building Energy Efficiency
May 22, 2018
These projects are funded through DOE’s SBIR and STTR programs, which are competitively awarded based on scientific and technical merit.
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Buildings and the Grid 101: How Are Building Technologies Office Partners Researching and Validating in the Field?
May 1, 2018
With a rapidly changing energy industry, Southern Company recognizes that accelerating technology development is more important than ever.
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Department of Energy Announces $34 Million for Innovation Building Technologies Research and Development
April 27, 2018
Funding will help support Administration’s goal to drive U.S. leadership in energy-saving building technologies.
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ASHRAE, Buildings, the Grid, and Resources to Face the Challenges
April 25, 2018
Enabling smarter grids has the potential to create a revolution in the building sector that will save energy and costs.
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Dr. Karma Sawyer
Program Manager of Emerging Technologies
Emerging Technologies Team
The BTO Emerging Technologies Team: Technology Managers (TM), Technology Project Officers (TPOs), and Fellows.
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