Energy Department Announces 6 Projects To Develop Energy-Saving Windows, Roofs, And Heating And Cooling Equipment

Friday, December 21, 2012

As part of the Energy Department’s efforts to help homeowners and businesses save money by saving energy, the Department announced today a $9 million investment in leading-edge building envelope technologies, including high-efficiency, high-performance windows, roofs and heating and cooling equipment. As winter temperatures set in for much of the United States, the Energy Department this week is also highlighting easy ways consumers can lower their heating bills on

pr-optout.com/Url.aspx?1022403x232052x61031" target="_blank">Energy.gov.

“A typical American family spends nearly $2,000 per year on their home energy bills, and much of that money is wasted on air leaks and drafts in our homes’ roofs, attics and walls. By bringing new, affordable energy efficient products to the market, we can help families save money by saving energy, while strengthening U.S. manufacturing leadership in technologies that are increasingly in demand worldwide,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

This new investment supports six advanced manufacturing projects in California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri and Tennessee that advance whole home energy performance. This includes:

· about $6.5 million in four projects to develop highly-efficient, cost-effective heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and

· about $3 million to two projects that focus on building envelope materials.

For example, St. Louis, Mo.-based Unico will receive $2 million to develop a cold climate heat pump with a variable speed compressor that will maintain capacity and efficiency even at very low temperatures. The University of Idaho will design and demonstrate a roof sandwich panel that uses foam material to increase building thermal efficiency and helps reduce construction costs by 25 percent. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will develop and test highly insulated, easy-to-install windows that use automated shading that can capture or repel heat depending on the season.

While U.S. energy use per capita was fairly consistent from 1990 to 2007, building improvements in efficiency for space heating and air conditioning have helped achieve a reduction in the last five years. Nearly 60 percent of homes now feature energy-efficient, multi-pane windows – up from 36 percent in 1993. About 40 million households have used caulking or weather-stripping to seal air leaks and drafts and 26 million have added insulation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that energy use per capita will continue to fall by an additional 15 percent through 2040.

Additional improvements are needed. In a typical residential or commercial building, about 42 percent of energy is lost through doors, roofs, attics, walls, floors and foundations – known collectively as the building envelope. In the winter months, windows can account for 10 to 25 percent of a home’s utility bill through heat loss. The projects announced today will help bring new, affordable technologies to market that address these opportunities for improved building performance and cost savings.

Learn more about these projects here and find additional information on how the Energy Department is helping American homes and businesses save money by saving energy at EnergySaver.gov and through the Buildings Technologies Program.


Realtors See Some Positives In June Sales Figures

Officials of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors said they see some positives in June sales figures. Officials said, "Upon first review of our June residential market statistics, housing seemed to have had a slow start in the spring selling season. But don’t let appearances deceive. As you dig into that spring soil, you begin to unearth differences in individual areas and ... (click for more)

Commissioners Chide Augusta Developer For Not Talking With Lincoln Park Residents

Some Planning Commission members on Monday chided an Augusta, Ga., developer for not talking with Lincoln Park residents about a proposal to construct 387 multi-family residential units on a 17.7-acre former manufacturing site on Riverside Drive. The location is across from the Boathouse Restaurant. However, Commissioner Don Moon said he might have done the same thing. He said ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)