DOE/GTI Project Aims for EnergyEfficient Neighborhoods

Aug. 25, 2010
Will develop tools to reduce residential energy use

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Program recently awarded Gas Technology Institute (GTI) with a major new program aimed at cutting energy use and costs, along with carbon emissions through residential retrofit applications in cold-weather climates.

GTI will lead a Building America Team which will support DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative aimed at bringing together multiple stakeholders to deliver energy efficiency upgrades to whole neighborhoods and cities.

“Home energy efficiency is one of the easiest, most immediate and most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon pollution and save money on energy bills, while creating new jobs,” noted Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in a recent DOE news release. “By developing and using tools to reduce residential energy use, we will spur economic growth here in America and help homeowners make cost-cutting improvements in their homes.”

The Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR), led by GTI, has decades of experience in design, development, integration, and testing of advanced building energy equipment, components and systems in laboratory and test house settings. From their Chicago ‘hub,’ the team will focus on improving performance, quality and market acceptance of residential retrofits in a seven-state Midwest region.

Team members include the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Building Research Council at the University of Illinois, and Future Energy Enterprises. Over 40 industry team partners are participating in the program including the City of Chicago Department of Environment.

PARR will research and field-evaluate cost-effective retrofit packages most appropriate to large numbers of Chicago-area homes. “Good, better, and best” options for energy-related improvements will be developed, says Larry Brand, Buildings R Manager, targeting a home’s thermal envelope (e.g., walls, windows, and house tightness) and energy systems (furnace or boiler and distribution system). “The team is excited to create a positive impact in Chicagoland residences by making economical energy solutions easily accessible and appealing to homeowners through strategic partnerships with local utilities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations,” notes Ryan Kerr, R Market Analyst at GTI.

About Gas Technology Institute (GTI) GTI is a leading research, development and training organization that has been addressing the nation’s energy and environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government for nearly 70 years.