DOE Invests in Commercial Building Efficiency

09/01/2014 |

Ventilation systems and lighting controls highlight the focus

Retrofit Ventilation Systems remove indoor air pollutants and enable the indoor air to be recycled, reducing the amount of outside air required.

Four projects recently earned up to $6 million in funding from the Energy Department. Last year, commercial buildings consumed about 20% of all energy in the U.S. at an estimated cost of $180 billion, while producing 18% of the nation’s carbon emissions.

The projects will deploy and demonstrate four emerging energy-saving technologies. They will generate data, case studies, and information intended to help building owners adopt new technologies, including advanced ventilation, building energy optimization software, more efficient commercial refrigeration fan motors, and advanced lighting controls.

enVerid Systems in Houston, TX, will retrofit ventilation systems with modules that remove indoor air pollutants such as carbon dioxide. This enables the indoor air to be recycled while greatly decreasing the amount of outside air required, thus reducing HVAC loads. Ten separate commercial building demonstrations will be conducted over three years.

BuildingIQ, Inc. in Foster City, CA, will optimize HVAC energy use using Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO), a cloud-based software application that runs on top of existing automation systems. PEO uses data from weather forecasts, utility tariffs, demand response event signals, and occupant schedules. Sixteen studies will be performed.

QM Power, Inc. in Lee’s Summit, MO, has developed high-efficiency 7- to 16-watt fan motors that are often used in commercial refrigeration systems. The firm intends to install and demonstrate about 12,000 fans in more than 50 grocery stores nationwide. If fully adopted, the motor application could achieve more than 0.6 quads in energy savings and reduce costs by $1 billion.

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships in Lexington, MA, will further the implementation of advanced lighting controls. The project will evaluate two or more controls technologies in 10 buildings. The results will support development of utility incentive programs to spur adoption.

For more information on these and other technologies, visit the DOE’s Building Technologies Office website at

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