Opportunity number
Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Library
Building Technologies Office (BTO) Emerging Technologies (ET) Program
Due date
Concept Paper Submission: 5/21/2019, Full Application 7/15/2019
Energy Innovation
Project funding
Between $300,000 to $1.5 million. Amount varies among the 6 topics.
Program funding
Funding size
Up to $5M

Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) – 2019

RFP Summary provided by the agency

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT)  supports research and development of innovative energy saving technologies, systems, tools, and models that could lead to significant reduction in building energy consumption.

This BENEFIT  focuses on early-stage R&D to enable the development of novel technologies that can improve efficiency and reduce the energy costs of the nation’s buildings and facilitate interaction with the electricity grid. Under this funding opportunity, BTO is interested in six topic areas:

  • Topic 1: Advanced Separation Technologies for Building Energy Efficiency
  • Topic 2: Advanced Building Materials
  • Topic 3: High-Performance Windows
  • Topic 4: Novel Approaches for Cyber-physical Systems in Buildings
  • Topic 5: Integration Research of Advanced Commercial Energy Efficiency Packages
  • Topic 6: Advancements in Natural Gas and Other Fuel-driven Equipment

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

The ET Program has identified the program-specific goal of supporting the development of cost-effective technologies capable of reducing the energy use of typical buildings by 45% by 2030, relative to high-efficiency technologies available in 2010. The rapid development of next-generation building technologies are vital to advance building materials, components, tools and systems that are critical to meeting BTO’s building energy use reduction goals. “Residential and commercial buildings account for approximately 40% of the nation’s total energy demand – greater than that attributable to either industry (32%) or transportation (29%) – and about 75% of all electricity use.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) Emerging Technologies (ET) Program is working in partnership with industry, national laboratories, and academia to develop innovative energy saving technologies, systems, tools, and models that could lead to a significant reduction in building energy consumption.

This year’s BENEFIT FOA builds off of the successful “Early Stage Innovations” topics that were primarily developed to engage university, industry and national lab researchers in early-stage research relevant to the buildings sector.

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Concept Papers, Full Applications, and Replies to Reviewer Comments must be submitted through EERE Exchange at https://eere-Exchange.energy.gov
EERE will not review or consider applications submitted through other means The Users’ Guide for Applying to the Department of Energy EERE Funding Opportunity Announcements can be found at https://eere-Exchange.energy.gov/Manuals.aspx

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

  • Individuals
  • Domestic Entities
  • Foreign Entities
  • Incorporated Consortia
  • Unincorporated Consortia
    For more detail about each eligible applicant, please see Section III.A of the FOA for eligibility requirements
  • Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995, are not eligible to apply for funding.

Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

The six heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) projects selected in 2017:

  • Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. (Johnson City, Tennessee) will validate and analyze a gas-fired absorption heat pump that uses an ammonia-water absorption cycle.
  • University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland) will develop the next-generation reduced charge air-to-refrigerant heat exchangers using non-round tubes.
  • Arkema Inc. (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) will develop formulations and additive materials that can mitigate the flammability of A2L refrigerant blends.
  • Xergy (Harrington, Delaware) will investigate electrochemical compression technology combined with ionic liquid desiccant technology to improve latent and sensible heat loads in air-conditioning systems.
  • United Technologies Research Center (East Hartford, Connecticut) will develop and validate a high-efficiency compressor based roof-top air-conditioning system that uses a sustainable, nontoxic, nonflammable, and high-efficiency refrigerant.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) will investigate a novel dehumidification process to avoid the excessive energy utilized by conventional approaches, through high frequency mechanical vibration of ultrasonic transducers to “eject” adsorbed water.

(ii) Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

The five sensors, controls, data, and modeling projects selected in 2017:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) (Golden, Colorado) will characterize DC miscellaneous electric loads and distribution equipment, DC network configurations, and savings opportunities by extending DOE’s state-of-the-art open-source whole-building energy modeling tool-chain EnergyPlus and OpenStudio with power distribution modeling capabilities, enabling evaluation of energy and economic benefits of AC, DC, and hybrid distribution systems.
  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, California) will integrate AC plug-through meters to measure real, reactive, and apparent power with load monitoring based on extracting high-fidelity electrical waveform features to capture power profiles and automatically identify and categorize miscellaneous electric loads in a scalable manner to improve understanding of their energy consumption.
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia) will explore innovations in RF integrated circuits, optimal operation and coordination of multiple radios and miscellaneous electric load modes, and energy efficient antennae to develop ultra-low power radios to reduce power consumption of wireless appliances.
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia) will develop a technique to automatically construct new contextual information for sensing and control points, allowing integration and connectivity from building analytics engines to commercial building control systems with minimal or no manual point mapping.
  • PARC Xerox (Palo Alto, California) will investigate reversible physisorption by measuring the heat generated by the absorption of CO2 into a sorbent for occupancy detection to enable demand control ventilation (DCV) on a per-room basis.

(iii) Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

The two windows and envelope projects selected in 2017:

  • Fraunhofer CSE (Boston, Massachusetts) will develop a novel polyisocyanurate-based aerogel insulation through novel freeze-drying processing.
  • Stanford University (Stanford, California) will explore reversible electroplating of metal and low resistance transparent conductors with micro copper grids to develop low-cost dynamic windows with faster switching speeds.

(iv) Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:


Questions or interested?

We’re here to help and advise.

Contact us