companies, but their R&D generally does not extend to interactive performance with other components of
the building. These characteristics also retard the market entry and penetration of new energy efficient
technologies. A further dampener and rationale for public investment is the restructuring of the electric
industry, which has caused a downturn in electric utility R&D.
State public benefits programs, on the
other hand, are spending considerable resources on applied energy R&D. Funding for fundamental energy
R&D is dominated by DOE.
Federal Funding for Building Energy R&D. Coordinating R&D efforts among federal and state agen
cies, the private sector, academia, and the national laboratories is often cited as being vital to leveraging
scarce resources, reducing duplication of effort, and comprehensively addressing energy challenges.
Reports by the Office of Technology Assessment, the Building Energy Efficiency Program Review Group,
and the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board conclude that federal R&D programs play a critical a role in
financially supporting and coordinating building research among the various participants.
What evidence do we have that climate change technology R&D can deliver products that
consumers, industry, and businesses will choose to use? Consider the results of a study completed in
2001 by the National Academies.
This study concludes that energy efficiency research at DOE has
produced economic net benefits. Specifically, the total net realized economic benefits associated with
selected energy efficiency programs were estimated to be approximately $30 billion (in 1999$), substan
tially exceeding the roughly $7 billion (in 1999$) in total energy efficiency RD&D investments made by
DOE from 1978 through 2000.
Several of the most successful energy efficiency research activities documented by the National
Academies involved building technology innovations (see Box 4: The Refrigerator Story). According to the
National Academies report, three building technology successes (advanced refrigerator/freezer compres
sors, electronic ballast for fluorescent lamps, and low E glass) saved 4.7 quads of energy and 80 MMTC.
On an annual basis (over a 22 year period), these impacts amount to 0.21 quads and 3.6 MMTC (repre
senting less than one percent of the carbon emissions from the building sector in 2002). These three
technology development efforts account for a small fraction of the $2 billion (averaging $91 million
annually, in 1999$) invested by DOE between 1978 and 2000 on buildings R&D. A fuller accounting of
Towards a Climate Friendly