Energy & Environment

Department of Energy Receives Funding Boost for Building Programs

Anew law will increase funding for many of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) programs. The DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO) says the funding 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 will provide 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.

In addition, $1.2 million 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 pro-gram (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.

“This bill represents a ringing bipartisan endorsement of the work the Department of Energy does to improve energy efficiency and energy productivity,” said Jason Hartke, Alliance to Save Energy president, in a statement. “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.”

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