June 29, 2009--President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced new initiatives to promote energy efficiency and cost reductions.

According to a statement from the DOE, $346 million of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be allocated to “expand and accelerate the development, deployment, and use of energy-efficient technologies” in commercial buildings and new and existing homes. This includes funding for:

  • Advanced building systems research that will study interactions of buildings as a whole. 

  • Residential buildings development and deployment, including providing technical support to train workers and create jobs, develop a new workforce to improve the nation’s homes, and “provide builders with technical assistance and training through states, utilities, and existing programs to increase market share of new homes achieving substantial whole-house energy savings.” The DOE also will work with municipalities to encourage energy-efficient retrofits. 

  • Commercial buildings initiative, including expanding and accelerating partnerships with companies that commit to achieving exemplary energy performance in their buildings. 

  • Buildings and appliance market transformation, including expanding Energy Star to accelerate development of efficient products and into new areas, and expanding the DOE’s appliance standards program to evaluate technologies and develop new test procedures. 

  • Solid-state lighting research and development designed to advance SSL technology and coordinate development.

The actions also include new standards for residential and commercial lamps and lighting equipment, including reducing electricity consumption of general service fluorescent lamps by 15% and of incandescent reflector lamps by 25%.