U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced awards totaling more than $76 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy auditors.

The 58 projects selected today will help make the nation's buildings more energy efficient and cost-effective. They will also support programs to train workers to service and operate new and existing buildings, to develop and deploy best practices resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and to establish a green workforce with technical expertise to reduce energy costs for consumers.

"These projects will help the United States lead the world in advancing energy-efficient technologies," Secretary Chu said. "Energy-efficient commercial buildings will help our country cut its carbon emissions and energy costs while the training programs will upgrade the skills of the current workforce and attract the next generation to careers in the emerging clean-energy economy."

The Department of Energy also released today a new video that showcases the story of Greensburg, Kan., a town devastated by a tornado in 2007, which came back to be one of the Nation's most energy-efficient, sustainable communities. Many of the town's government buildings use cutting-edge energy-saving technologies, such as high-efficiency windows, lighting, and heating and ventilation systems, saving local taxpayer money. Greensburg has shown that any city can reach its energy efficiency and renewable energy goals today using widely available technologies.  

The nation's 114 million households and more than 74 million square feet of commercial floor space account for approximately 40 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption, as well as 39 percent of carbon dioxide, 18 percent of nitrogen oxides, and 55 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions. These projects will help lower the energy demands and emissions of commercial buildings and promote a specialized, energy-efficient buildings workforce.

Advanced Energy-Efficient Building Technology Projects:

These 45 awards for advanced energy-efficient building technology projects will receive over $68.4 million and will be leveraged with more than $31.4 million in funding from private industry, for a total project value of nearly $100 million. Projects have been selected in the following five areas:

Advanced Building Control Strategies, Communications, and Information Technologies for Net-Zero Energy Buildings ($22,497,833 total Federal share) -Twelve projects will focus on transforming the design, operation, and maintenance of both new and existing buildings.

  • Analysis, Design, and Technical Tools ($5,969,682 total Federal share) - Five projects will focus on improving the capability to simulate complex interactions between building elements, including climate, envelope heat and moisture transfer, internal heat gains, lighting power, HVAC equipment, controls, thermal and visual comfort, and energy costs.
  • Building Envelope and Windows ($22,807,255 total Federal share) - Fourteen projects will focus on improving the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings through technology advances in windows and envelope components, which are necessary to achieve significant energy savings and performance.
  • Residential and Commercial Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Crosscutting Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Research ($11,144,592 total Federal share) - Ten projects will focus on dramatically increasing the efficiency of HVAC systems and pursuing technologies that apply to both air conditioning and refrigeration.
  • Water Heating, Residential, and Commercial Appliances and Miscellaneous Electric Loads ($6,033,246 total Federal share) - Four projects will focus on increasing the efficiency of water heating equipment and reducing miscellaneous electric loads.