Efficient new building technologies can help meet our country's energy goals, stimulate U.S. manufacturing, create jobs, and improve the environment. However, many high-performing technologies are not readily adopted in the marketplace due to lack of information about their real-world performance. To address this gap in information, the DOE frequently supports demonstrations to assess technologies' energy performance, installation procedures, operations, and maintenance characteristics. The information from these demonstrations helps consumers make more informed decisions and helps U.S. manufacturers validate the performance of their products.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How does DOE prioritize demonstration projects?
- Who can collaborate with DOE on a commercial building demonstration project?
- What does DOE provide?
- What do collaborators contribute?
- What is DOE's authority to conduct demonstration projects?
- Does DOE coordinate with other demonstration programs, such as Green Proving Grounds?
- Where can I find information on past demonstration projects?
- Can I propose a demonstration project?
- I'm interested in hosting a demonstration at my building. Who should I contact?
- How will proposals be reviewed?
How does the DOE prioritize demonstration projects?
DOE prioritizes technologies based on energy savings potential, cost-effectiveness, market-readiness, and contribution to U.S. job creation and energy-savings goals. Those that are more energy-efficient, market-ready, cost-effective, and create more U.S. jobs are prioritized. To assure the best utilization of resources, DOE also coordinates with other formalized demonstration programs such as the General Services Administration's Green Proving Ground and the Department of Defense's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program. If one of these programs is already funding a demonstration of a similar technology, DOE may leverage that demonstration as a resource.
Who can collaborate with DOE on a demonstration project?
DOE collaborates with a wide range of organizations on demonstration projects. Typically, these organizations fall into one of three categories:
- Technology providers: organizations that develop, manufacture, or install technologies.
- Site hosts: organizations that provide a building where the real-world demonstration project is conducted and allow DOE and partners to monitor and verify results.
- Demonstration supporters: 3rd parties, such as utilities, universities, energy efficiency program sponsors, not-for-profit organizations, or other government programs that facilitate or collaborate with DOE on demonstration projects and help disseminate information about the results.
What does DOE provide?
When conducting a demonstration project, DOE may provide:
- Technical guidance in selection, installation, and commissioning of equipment
- Monitoring and measurement guidance
- Analysis of performance data
- Documentation of performance, installation, and operations and maintenance insights, often in the form of a case study.
In special situations, DOE may sometimes also provide the equipment for demonstration, subject to regulatory restrictions and resource availability. An example would be when a technology is developed by one of DOE's national laboratories.
What do collaborators contribute?
- Technology providers supply equipment and instrumentation for monitoring/testing, where authorized by law; in some cases DOE may procure equipment directly.
- Site hosts provide appropriate site, staff (in house or contracted) that can facilitate the installation and operations and maintenance processes. Provide data and insights about any lessons learned to DOE on an ongoing basis to enable an overall evaluation of the project.
- Demonstration supporters' contributions vary, but may include reviewing demonstration plans and results; assisting with documentation and development of case studies; disseminating information; or actual technical involvement in technology selection, installation, commissioning, and monitoring.
What is DOE's authority to conduct demonstration projects?
The Energy Security and Independence Act (2007) was enacted to "move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the federal government, and for other purposes" and directs the Department of Energy to support and educate the public about high-performance green buildings, including technologies to help achieve a goal of net-zero energy use. These demonstrations help to accomplish this goal.
Additionally, the following laws and regulations require federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of proposed Federal projects: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Executive Order 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance" (October 2009), Executive Order 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management" (January 2007), The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) 2005, The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (originally named the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007.) Key provisions include reducing building energy intensity 3% annually or 30% total by FY 2015 (2003 baseline), reducing water consumption 2% annually or 26% total by FY 2020 (2007 baseline), and achieving net zero energy use in new construction by 2030
Does DOE coordinate with other federal demonstration programs, such as the Green Proving Ground?
Yes. To assure the best utilization of resources, DOE coordinates with the following programs when evaluating technologies, choosing demonstration projects, selecting evaluating sites, establishing monitoring and verification plans, and reporting results. This helps to maximize the flow of information about new technologies and avoid duplication of effort.
Green Proving Ground (U.S. General Services Administration)
The Green Proving Ground leverages GSA's real estate portfolio to evaluate innovative sustainable building technologies and practices, and are conducted in cooperation with Department of Energy and its national laboratories. Findings are used to support the development of GSA performance specifications and inform decision-making within GSA, other federal agencies, and the real estate industry. The programs aim to drive innovation in energy and environmental performance in federal buildings and help lead market transformation through deployment of new technologies. Learn more on the GSA website.
Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (Department of Defense)
The Department of Defense (DoD) Environmental Security Technology Certification program (ESTCP) Energy and Water program serves as a test bed to support the demonstration of innovative technologies to reduce the Department's installation energy consumption and carbon footprint, improve energy security, and facilitate water conservation. DoD manages more than 30,000 buildings on some 500 installations throughout the United States. As the nation's largest single energy consumer, DoD spends close to $4 billion every year on facility energy consumption. Fixed installations and the non-tactical vehicles used on them contribute to nearly 40% of the military's greenhouse gas emissions. Through the Energy and Water program area, DoD tests cutting-edge technologies developed by researchers from industry, universities, and federal agencies. By reducing real and perceived risks, these demonstrations accelerate the broader deployment of innovative energy and water technologies across DoD. Learn more on the ESTCP's websites on Energy and Water and Installation Energy Test Beds.
The Navy Technology Demonstration and Validation (TECHVAL) Program (Naval Facilities Engineering Command)
The Navy Technology Demonstration and Validation (TECHVAL) Program investigates available third party literature and field evaluates technologies that are in production, but underutilized by DON. The purpose is to document the energy savings, cost, and maintenance issues, develop criteria and guidance for effective application and reduce the risk to installations to incorporate emerging technology.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program
ETV verifies the performance of innovative technologies that have the potential to improve protection of human health and the environment. To learn more, visit the EPA website.
ENERGY STAR® Emerging Technology Awards program (US EPA)
The ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award recognizes innovative products that have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advances promising technologies that may not yet meet key principles associated with the Energy star label (e.g. broadly available, proven and cost-effective) or may be relatively more complex to properly install and operate. To learn more, visit the ENERGY STAR website.
In addition, DOE coordinates with a variety of non-federal organizations that conduct technology demonstration programs, such as state, local, regional, and utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs. To recommend additional coordination with a program not listed here, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I find information on past demonstration projects?
Information on past DOE-funded demonstrations can be found on the Commercial Buildings Resource Database. Additional sources of information on past demonstration projects is available at the following federal agency websites:
- GSA's Green Proving Ground technology demonstration reports
- Environmental Security Technology Certification Program and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program energy and water project reports
- The Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Technology Verification Program, Greenhouse Gas, Energy, and Energy Efficiency Buildings technology briefs
Can I propose a demonstration project?
If you are not currently working with DOE
DOE frequently issues funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for activities that support its mission, including technology demonstrations. To see the latest funding opportunity announcements, visit Grants.gov or EERE Exchange. To learn more about the criteria DOE will use when evaluating proposals, see the next section, "How will proposals be reviewed"?
If you are currently working with DOE
Current DOE performers or awardees (including the national laboratories, universities, manufacturers/companies or teams of these entities) with authority to conduct demonstrations are eligible to submit, once per year, a brief proposal that describes their technology, its value to the marketplace and installation or demonstration requirements. The proposals must describe the benefits of a technical and economic evaluation for a demonstration period of up to two years. The proposals must also specify budget requirements to conduct the demonstration, including set aside funds for contingency plans to remove the technology if requested by the host site. Contact the technology demonstration coordinator at email@example.com for more details.
I'm interested in hosting a demonstration at my building in the future. Who should I contact?
Thank you for your interest. Please contact our demonstration coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your building, including its schedule, operations, and location. Please note that volunteering to host a demonstration does not guarantee that your facility will be selected.
Additionally, you may be eligible to propose a demonstration project to one or more of the following programs:
- GSA's Green Proving Ground
- Environmental Security Technology Certification Program
- The Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Technology Verification Program
- Navy's TechVal
How will proposals be reviewed?
Proposals will be reviewed initially by DOE staff to assure that they have met the technology demonstration criteria and validate that the technology is ready to make an impact in the market. Additionally, DOE staff will ensure the project has met important milestones, is on track to meet critical performance targets and continues to demonstrate value. The number of projects selected will depend on budget constraints for that year.
After the initial review, DOE will convene a review committee comprised of technical experts to assess the demonstration proposals and validate or recommend demonstration sites, which may include technical experts from other federal programs that fund demonstrations, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of Defense and General Services Administration. DOE will make final selections on all DOE-funded projects.