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DOE to Award $256M to Improve the Energy Efficiency of the US Economy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) plans to provide $256 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency improvements in major industrial sectors across the American economy. The funding is targeted at reducing the energy consumption of the manufacturing and information technology (IT) industries, while creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. Projects being funded under the Recovery Act will focus on three main areas:

  • Combined Heat and Power, District Energy Systems, Waste Energy Recovery Systems, and Efficient Industrial Equipment ($156 Million). Combined Heat and Power, District Energy, and Waste Energy Recovery deployment and demonstration projects represent proven and effective near-term energy options. These technologies can be deployed in industrial and residential settings to improve efficiency, control costs, and limit greenhouse gas emissions. Combined Heat and Power and District Energy Systems can achieve efficiencies of 80% or better compared to roughly 45% for conventional heat and power production; waste recovery systems have the potential to save 17 gigawatts of energy nationwide annually.

  • Improved Energy Efficiency for Information and Communication Technology ($50 Million). This project will select and fund applicants to conduct research, development, and demonstration projects to promote new technologies that improve energy efficiency in the ICT sector.

  • Advanced Materials in Support of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies and Energy-Intensive Processes ($50 Million). DOE will support research, development, and demonstration projects for advanced industrial materials that can be used in fuel flexibility programs, combined heat and power technologies, energy intensive processes, and nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing.

Information on these opportunities and the Funding Opportunity Announcements are available at the DOE Recovery and Reinvestment website.



We could put 100,000 AmeriCorp students to work this summer energy auditing and weatherizing homes. The energy saved in heating and cooling would more than pay for the costs.


The $156 million for CHP and waste energy recovery is definitely a positive development, since those techniques save consumers a lot of money in the long run. Then again, I’m biased: I’m associated with Recycled Energy Development, a company that does precisely this kind of work and therefore stands to benefit from the new incentives. However, I’m involved because of the massive opportunity. Studies done for the EPA and DOE suggest these techniques could slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. That’s as much as if we took every passenger vehicle off the road. Meanwhile, energy costs would fall due to increased efficiency. We should be doing much more of this, and the new incentives are a good start.


I totally agree. Weatherizing homes, offices, warehouses, etc., would save much energy.
I also believe all rental properties should require an energy audit. Landlords should not be able to rent out property that is not efficient. Currently, the cost of energy hot buildings is passed to the renter. The renter does not want to invest in someone else's property. The landlord doesn't care because he's not paying the bill. The waste goes on and on.
There should also be a tax break for insulating your home (not just for purchasing solar equip.)



I agree, all good points. The renter dilemma applies to commercial as well. People lease office space and the builder put inefficient HVAC into poorly built and inadequately insulated buildings. the renter can not modify and builder/owner does not care. We could save a bunch of energy when we remedy that problem.

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