The U.S. House and Senate recently passed a Department of Energy (DOE) funding bill that will give a funding boost to many programs. According to a statement from the DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO), the funding it receives will be used to explore the development of smart, tunable and highly insulating building envelope materials to enable significant reductions in cooling and heating loads, as well as highly insulating R7 to R10 window technologies and advanced coatings for dynamic glazing.
The new plan provides many funding increases including: the BTO, Advanced Manufacturing Office, Weatherization Assistance Program and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
According to the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference, the DOE is to give the BTO $39 million for commercial buildings integration, $28 million for residential buildings integration, $95 million for emerging technologies and $50 million for equipment and buildings standards. Another $7 million is also to be used for the building energy codes program to assist states and organizations that develop model codes and standards to improve building resilience and efficiency. Another $20 million is to provide research for programs working on energy efficiency efforts.
The DOE Weatherization Assistance Program will receive $500,000 in grants. Under this program, funding will be provided to track window replacements, which support the reduction of lead-based paint in homes.
The DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office is to receive more than $4 million for steel industry improvements; $20 million for process-informed science; design and engineering of materials and devices operating in harsh environments; $5 million for research on materials and manufacturing process development of high-strength, light-weight nano-crystalline metal alloys; and $5 million for process-informed catalyst science to direct chemical reactions in full-scale industrial manufacturing processes and to develop new industrial product applications.
One point two million dollars will be used for four new projects supporting energy, productivity and innovation improvements for American steel and aluminum manufacturers. The organization is calling for concept papers for its sixth annual High Performance Computing for Manufacturing program (HPC4Mfg), which Vitro Flat Glass participated in earlier this year.
ARPA-E is to receive $366 million. The program will continue to use funding on research and development and program direction.
The bill now awaits the signature of President Trump. The Alliance to Save Energy president, Jason Hartke, has released a statement on the DOE funding.
“This bill represents a ringing bipartisan endorsement of the work the Department of Energy does to improve energy efficiency and energy productivity. These programs have a clear track record of success. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle recognize that using the energy we produce more productively is simply a good investment that improves U.S. competitiveness, reduces costs for families and businesses, creates jobs and economic activity, and cuts pollution,” he says. “Congress got the job done; now the president should sign this into law promptly. Any gap or uncertainty in funding would mean disruptions to this critical work and more wasted energy.”