DOE Offers $7.75M for R&D on HVAC Technologies that Save Energy

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The U.S. Departent of Energy is offering $7.75 million for research and development of next generation HVAC technologies, under a solicitation issued Ocober 10.

Concept papers are due November 10; final applications are due December 12.  EERE expects to notify winners March 18.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) plans to issue six awards of between $500,000 and $1.5 million under cost-share agreements.

EERE seeks research projects for regionally targeted HVAC with the potential to significantly cut energy use in new and existing buildings. The program also focuses on innovative ways to replace current vapor compression HVAC technologies that use environmentally harmful refrigerants.

The grant program is part of a push by the Obama administration to green U.S. buildings, which accounted for $416 billion in energy spending in 2012. This year buildings are expected to consume 70 percent of electricity and 31 percent of natural gas produced in the U.S. As a result, buildings are responsible for 38 percent of the energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the US.

HVAC systems account for the largest proportion of energy used in buildings. They consume almost 14 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of primary energy annually—or nearly 30 percent of all energy used in commercial and residential buildings.  Non-vapor-compression HVAC technologies may use 40 percent less energy than current technologies.

The funds are being offered through the Emerging Technologies Program of the Building Technologies Office (BTO), which supports applied R&D on building energy consumption.  By 2020, BTO aims to develop technologies that cut HVAC energy use 10 percent, energy use for water heating 20 percent, and energy use for appliances 15 percent. The program has even more aggressive savings targets for 2030.

The RFP seeks savings as measured by the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) or the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). It also is interested in research to improve partial load efficiency — since HVAC systems operate at partial load most of the time.

EERE seeks proposals from businesses, universities, non-profits, and national laboratories.  EERE will hold informational webinars on the solicitation October 15 and December 1. More information on the HVAC technologies solicitation is available here.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


  1. Please check out recently issued US energy patent
    Number 8853978. These unique motor drives run on negative
    Electricity. They are capable of driving hvac compressors which
    Could reduce 3 phase cooling bills nearly 80% and single phase
    Cooling bills nearly 60%. Will this qualify for submission for this
    DOE grant money?

  2. It’s a good investment but I would shop auonrd for a better price if I were you.It sounds high to me. I py $ 89 a year and it covers the service call, all parts and labor for any repairs done. It also covers an annual cleaning of the furnace and ductwork.My water heater is covered for $ 3.95 per month,additional cost . I get mine thru my heating oil supplier. Considering an average house call costs on average $ 50-60, plus parts plus labor, the maintenence contract can save you hundreds of dollars. My furnace is 6 years old and despite not being old, my service contract saved me $ 540 this past year


  1. […] to Energy Efficiency Markets editor Elisa Wood, the United States Department of Energy recently announced plans to offer “$7.75 million for […]