U.S. DOE Launches New Initiative To Promote Electric Heat Pumps In Residential And Commercial Buildings

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm Friday announced sweeping actions to power more American homes and buildings with “cleaner” energy services intended to sharply reduce the buildings sector’s carbon footprint.

The new Department of Energy’s (DOE) initiative is designed to cut the energy and emissions footprints of buildings by integrating them with electrified power.

The new initiative reflects the latest examples of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) whole-building approach to transform the construction, renovation, and operation of buildings and appliances, as well as training workers who build and maintain them–

— Worker Training Grants – New investments of up to $30 million in grants to train workers in the construction, retrofitting and maintenance of commercial and residential buildings with energy efficient materials and appliances. Grants will go largely to worker educational and training programs.

— Advancing Efficiency in Heating and Cooling Systems – A new national initiative focused on clean and efficient heating and cooling systems in buildings called the Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3) will advance the research, development, and deployment of clean heating and cooling systems like heat pumps, advanced water heaters, low-to-no global warming potential refrigerants, and smarter HVAC diagnostic tools.

— Adoption of Smart Building Technologies – A National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings will chart a path to triple the energy efficiency and demand flexibility of U.S. buildings within the decade by implementing recommendations that accelerate the ability of buildings to both reduce and change the timing of energy use through smart building operations.

— Decarbonize Buildings – The Better Buildings Low Carbon Pilot, will work with commercial, industrial, and multifamily organizations to set commitments and share pathways to low and no carbon emission buildings. Today, the first 55 participating organizations were recognized at the Better Buildings Summit.

— High Efficiency Windows -The Partnership for Advanced Window Solutions (PAWS) will accelerate the national availability and adoption of advanced and highly efficient windows and window attachments that improve comfort and reduce building energy use.

EMA will work with the DOE to ensure that electrification efforts are not forced upon state and local authorities. State Association Executives should monitor state programs receiving DOE grants under the new initiative.

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