Small Buildings Get Energy Project Funding

Sept. 4, 2013
The DOE is investing in schools, churches, restaurants, and others.

Do you have a small building and limited capital for significant energy slashing projects? Federal funding may pave the way for your goals to be realized.

Six projects have been awarded $10 million from the DOE to help small commercial buildings implement energy efficiency projects. The goal of the project is to develop user-friendly tools and resources that can be easily deployed at any small building.

These properties are less than 50,000 square feet and include schools, churches, strip malls, restaurants, and grocery stores. In the U.S., commercial buildings – of which more than 90% fall into this size – consume about 20% of all energy.

Small buildings represent a sweet spot for slashes. For example, fast food restaurants have the potential to cut energy use by up to 45%, and a 10% reduction in energy costs can improve grocery stores’ profit margin by 16%, according to studies by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The projects that will receive funding include:

  • BlocPower – With $1.9 million, this New York-based firm will develop a crowd-sourcing website to help market, finance, and install retrofits for 1,500 small buildings in Boston, Cleveland, and Baltimore, among others.
  • EcoCity Partners – This Florida-based firm will design and offer pre-packaged technology retrofit options by building type, size, and climate zone. Using $322,978, the project will also evaluate property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for small buildings and aims to conduct audits and retrofits at 50 sites under a pilot program.
  • Ecology Action of Santa Cruz – A $2 million investment in this firm will leverage its network of contractors to use low-cost tools to implement deep energy retrofits and financing options at about 900 small buildings, 300 of which are in northern California.

For more information on how the DOE is helping buildings save energy, making businesses more competitive, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, visit

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