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Feds Launch $130 Million Building Energy Efficiency Effort

e-ric_210Seven federal agencies have issued a combined funding opportunity announcement of up to $129.7 million over five years to create an Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) centered around an Energy Innovation Hub focused on developing new technologies to improve the design of energy-efficient building systems. The regional research center will develop new building efficiency technologies and work with local partners to implement the technologies in area buildings.

“Energy efficient buildings represent one of our best and most immediate opportunities to create jobs, save money and cut carbon pollution,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The Department of Energy is providing up to $22 million for this project in the first year, with up to $100 million over the next four years.  The Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Economic Development Administration will make available up to $3 million in Public Works and Economic Development funds and up to $2 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance funds for the winning Proposal.  The DOC Manufacturing Extension Partnership will make available up to $500,000 for a one-year award, with the possibility of renewal for up to two additional years, to support the services of an existing DOC-funded MEP Center.  The U.S. Small Business Administration will make up to $300,000 in the first year, with three one-year options for renewal grants up to $300,000 per year, available to provide the services of an existing SBA-funded Small Business Development Center to the Regional Innovation Cluster.

This Energy Innovation Hub is one of three proposed by the Administration and funded by Congress in the FY10 budget

The E-RIC chosen under the funding opportunity will be based at a university, DOE national laboratory, nonprofit organization, or private firm, partnering closely with local or state government officials, and leveraging existing expertise of local architects, builders, and manufacturers.

Program contacts are listed here.

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