MARCH 2010

Energy-efficient building initiative launched

The Obama administration an-nounced a multi-agency initiative to spur economic growth while making buildings more energy-efficient.

Seven federal agencies issued a combined funding opportunity of up to $129.7 million over five years to create a regional research center. The center will develop new building efficiency technologies and work with local partners to implement the technologies in area buildings.

Building conditions account for nearly 40 percent of United States energy consumption and carbon emissions. Improvements in building efficiency will provide significant benefits – reducing energy use, lowering utility bills and decreasing carbon emissions.

The agencies are working together through Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) that is centered on an Energy Innovation Hub. This Energy Innovation Hub, one of three proposed by the administration and funded by Congress in the FY10 budget, will bring together a team of researchers to conduct research and to solve priority technology challenges.

The E-RIC will work to disseminate new technologies into the local marketplace and share best practices with the public and private sectors. It will be supported through agency investments in technology and business development, and will include support for workforce education and training. By linking researchers at the Hub with local businesses and supporting specialized workforce education in the area, the initiative will create an economically dynamic region focused on building efficiency technologies.