The US Energy Department has picked 12 projects to develop innovative heating, cooling and insulation technologies to help homes and businesses save energy and money.
The projects, which also include developing software to help building owners and operators measure, monitor and adjust lighting, will receive around $11 million (£7.06m) in funding.
Commercial and residential buildings use nearly 40% of the total energy consumed in the US every year and produce more than 40% of the country’s carbon pollution. According to the Energy Information Administration, around 48% of energy usage in US homes in 2009 was for heating and cooling, down from 53% in 1993.
The projects are also expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as Government statistics show emissions of hydroflurocarbons – primarily used in refrigeration and air conditioning – are expected double from current levels of 1.5% to 3% by 2020.
David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said: “Energy efficient technologies – from improved heating and cooling systems to better windows and lighting – provide one of the clearest and most cost-effective opportunities to save consumers money while curbing greenhouse gas pollution. User-friendly tools that quickly and cheaply analyse energy use will also help businesses and homeowners make better use of those technologies to save energy and lower their utility bills.”
According to a study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, commercial building owners could save an average 38% on heating and cooling bills by installing energy control systems.
Last month rules that all new houses and buildings in England must have energy saving features such as more efficient heating and lighting were announced.