Energy Efficiency

Report lays out DOE’s vision for grid-interactive efficient buildings

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Brattle Group have released a report laying out a path to accomplish the Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal of tripling the energy efficiency of buildings by 2030.

A National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings defines technology attributes, integration considerations, and barriers to achieving the full potential, adoption and deployment of grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs).

“Most of our buildings stand to benefit enormously from smart, connected technologies,” Kelly Speakes-Backman, acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the DOE, said in a statement. “Grid-interactive efficient buildings are designed to avoid the high costs and disruptions associated with peak demand and grid stress. Through clean, on-site power generation and cutting-edge efficiency measures, we can massively reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings sector."

Combining smart technologies and distributed energy resources with energy efficient buildings, grid-interactive efficient buildings can provide comfort and convenience for building occupants, sell services to the power grid, and cut costs and pollution, the report’s authors said.

The report identifies grid-interactive building technologies such as efficient lighting and appliances that reduce electricity demand, load shedding applications that allow buildings to reduce demand during peak periods, load shifting software, batteries or other devices that allow a building to maintain grid frequency or to control voltage, and power generating sources such as rooftop solar panels.

The report found that over the next two decades, grid-interactive efficient buildings could deliver between $100 and $200 billion in savings to the U.S. power system and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 million tons per year by 2030, or 6 percent of total power sector CO2 emissions.

The DOE has scheduled a webinar on the Grid-interactive efficient building roadmap for May 27. News and events about the GEB initiative is available here.

The General Services Administration recently published a complementary blueprint for practical guidance and tools to integrate GEB technologies into federal energy savings performance contracts and has committed to 100 percent renewable energy for all federal buildings by 2025.