State and Local Policy Database

Research & Development

Research and development programs drive advances in energy-efficient technologies. By leveraging resources in the public and private sectors, state governments can foster collaborative efforts that achieve the goals of rapidly creating, developing, and commercializing these technologies. These programs can also encourage cooperation among organizations in different sectors, and can address market failures that exist in the energy services marketplace that may impede the diffusion of new technologies.

The University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies (CAVT) assists in the research and development of numerous transportation systems and vehicles.  Their efficiency research is primarily focused on improving powertrains as well as energy storage and fuel cells.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) in Fairbanks, Alaska is an industry-based, nonprofit corporation created to facilitate the development, use, and testing of energy-efficient, durable, healthy, and cost-effective building technologies for people living in circumpolar regions around the globe. The Center represents 1,200 building industry firms and groups across the state. CCHRC’s energy efficiency research focuses on fuel use monitoring, window insulation evaluation, domestic hot water energy modeling, wall systems insulation, passive refrigeration, ventilation systems, and more. The Center’s 15,000 square foot Research and Testing Facility (RTF) first opened in 2006 after receiving $5.2 million in public and private funding. CCHRC conducted Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's statewide housing needs assessment that focused on energy needs and was released in 2018.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

At Northern Arizona University, through the Energy Utilization study, the Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions (ISES) of Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid research programs have partnered with: the College of Business and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to perform qualitative research on the human dimensions of energy conversation and utilization behaviors and conduct research related to energy efficiency on Native American lands. 

Arizona State University’s LightWorks Center focuses in part on energy efficiency, including research into solid state lighting as a way to reduce energy costs as well as behavioral interaction with energy efficiency technology. The Center is funded in part by the US Department of Energy.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The California Energy Commission’s Energy Research and Development program sponsors and manages research to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, appliances, industrial processes, food production, agricultural irrigation, and water and wastewater treatment. Energy efficiency research is one of the areas funded by the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) and the Natural Gas Research and Development fund. Other research areas include expanding demand response strategies, encouraging innovative solutions using combined heat and power for energy efficiency or resiliency purposes (including integration with renewable resources or micro-grid technologies), establishing commercial opportunities for micro-grids, creating innovative bioenergy solutions, advancing energy storage, and analysis to inform State energy policy and planning. The program goals are to create and advance new energy solutions, innovative technologies, and approaches, and bring ideas from the lab to the marketplace. These efforts aim to provide benefits to California ratepayers, reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and catalyze the clean energy economy. The R&D programs support applied research, technology demonstration, and market facilitation programs.

Energy efficiency research has focused on advancing energy efficiency technology solutions, such as building envelopes, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, lighting, equipment controls, consumer electronics, water heating and indoor environmental quality, as well as integrated solutions to make zero net energy buildings and existing building retrofits affordable and cost effective.

In January 2018, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) approved the Energy Commissions EPIC 2018-2020 Investment Plan. While funding amounts, priorities, and research initiatives and outreach strategies proposed by the Energy Commission were approved, as submitted, several changes were made to administering the EPIC program.

Beginning in 2018, the Energy Commission’s EPIC Program will implement Assembly Bill (AB) 523 (Reyes, Chapter 551, Statutes of 2017), which was signed into law in October 2017 and is effective January 1, 2018. This bill requires specific amounts of EPIC funds be expended on technology demonstration and deployment at sites located in, and benefiting, disadvantaged communities and low-income communities. In 2018, with the passage of Assembly Bill 109 (Ting, Budget Act of 2017, Chapter 249, Statutes of 2017), the California Energy Commission was provided with $66 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). Of this amount, $60 million will be used to establish the Food Production Investment Program (FPIP), which will provide grants, loans, or financial incentives to food processors to implement projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. FPIP has two primary goals, (1) help replace high energy consuming equipment and systems in the food processing industry with market-ready and advanced technologies and equipment, and (2) accelerate the adoption of state-of-the-art energy technologies that can substantially reduce energy use and costs and the associated GHG emissions.

EPIC Program Accomplishments and Highlights

In 2018, the Energy Commission's Energy Efficiency Research Office has 98 active projects totaling more than $228 M, approved 4 new projects totaling more than $8.5 million and has 8 closed projects totaling $13.6 M. Some of the projects in 2018 were focused on:

  • Developing customer centric approach to scaling Integrated Demand Side Management retrofits.
  • Demonstration of cost effective methods to achieving maximum energy efficiency in grocery stores and Big box retail stores.
  • Evaluating the potential of emerging technologies measures and whether the savings can be layered onto existing energy efficiency programs.
  • Automated programmable irrigation management system to increase energy efficiency of irrigation.
  • Demonstration of affordable, comfortable, and grid integrated Zero Net Energy communities.
  • Advanced plug load controls and management in the educational facilities.
  • Automated cloud based continuously optimizing building energy management system.
  • Integrating smart ceiling fans and communicating thermostat in res and non-res buildings.
  • Flexible demand response control strategies for water pumping stations and refrigeration plants.
  • Analysis of Cultural Factors in the Energy Use Patterns of Multifamily Tenants.
  • Analysis of High-Temperature Hybrid Compressed Air Energy Storage.

The University of California-Davis houses the Energy and Efficiency Institute (previously the Energy Efficiency Center), whose mission is to accelerate the development and commercialization of energy efficiency technologies. The Institute includes the California Lighting Technology Center, the Western Cooling Efficiency Center, and the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency.

The University of California-Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment focuses on how to produce comfortable, healthful, and productive indoor environments in the most energy efficient way.

The University of California at Los Angeles’ Center for Energy Science and Technology Advanced Research (CESTAR) lists energy conservation as one of its four major research areas. UCLA developed the Home Energy Efficient Design software tool.

The University of California-Irvine's California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug) researches efficiency in consumer and commercial electronics.

Last Reviewed: August 2019

The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) conducted research to identify opportunities for energy savings in the marijuana growing industry and the industrial sector. Multiple industry-specific stakeholders and independent researchers contributed to the research reports.  Both the marijuana industry and others addressed the need for current energy use data to make informed decisions. The Colorado marijuana energy use research report will provide a cost-benefit calculator to help growers understand the financial benefits of incorporating energy efficient technologies into their operations and identify energy efficient operational strategies and technologies or energy efficiency supportive policies that are relevant and available to the industry.   

The Engines and Energy Conversion Lab (EECL) at Colorado State University conducts research on smart grid technology and engine efficiency, primarily in advanced ignition systems and after-treatment systems.

The Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) at Colorado State University engages faculty and industry partners in healthy and sustainable building issues including energy efficient construction, integration of clean energy technologies and sustainable built environments.

The Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) at the University of Colorado at Boulder is a joint institute with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with a mission to research and develop ways to produce energy at a lower cost, with higher efficiency, and with reduced emissions.

The Research in Delivery, Usage, and Control of Energy (ReDUCE) research group at the Colorado School of Mines includes energy efficiency projects such as the Cyber-Enabled Efficiency Energy Management of Structure (CEEMS), sponsored by the National Science Foundation, which conducts research on the sensing and control of energy flow in buildings, as enabled by cyber infrastructure.

The Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED) is a catalyst for economic development in Colorado through clean energy and energy efficiency innovation and entrepreneurship. Its stakeholders support the creation and growth of clean tech companies throughout the State of Colorado and represent economic development, academia, incubators, industry associations, and government. 

CREED is a product of National Renewable Energy (NREL) and partners with state government agencies such as the Colorado Energy Office and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and industry groups such as the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association. NREL consistently works with Colorado universities on energy efficiency projects and plays a role in a number of collaborations throughout the state.  Besides RASEI and CREED, NREL also partners with state universities as part of the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, a research consortium that works with industry and public agencies to create and speed the commercialization of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency.

The Energy Research Collaboratory is a consortium of three state institutions of higher education the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, the Colorado School of Mines, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Energy Research Collaboratory is a consortium of three state institutions of higher education the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, the Colorado School of Mines, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The University of Connecticut’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2), founded in 2009, serves as a nexus for activities involving fundamental and applied research in clean and efficient energy systems as well as training of 21st century scientists and engineers. Advanced energy conversion technologies, fuels and fuel processing, energy storage, power management and smart grid, and conservation of natural resources with a focus on water are all part of the Center’s larger research and educational portfolio. The center’s efforts are geared toward catalyzing the transformation of science-to-systems for a global “Sustainable Energy Economy” through academic research and industrial development, systems engineering, prototype development and demonstration.  C2E2 also provides cost-effective solutions to current and emerging technologies.  The center employs a portfolio of multidisciplinary faculty through the Sustainable Energy Initiative.

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) focuses on initiatives in several areas of energy efficiency, including advanced manufacturing technologies and strategies for improving efficiency. CCAT assists DEEP with several programs, including an energy-efficient business program, the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, the Rural Energy Assurance Program, and several others.

The Test Bed Program is administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy, as required by Connecticut law (C.G.S. 16a-4d). The Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Test Bed Program (Test Bed Program) provides an opportunity for a technology, product or process that promotes energy conservation, energy efficiency or renewable energy technology, to be used on a limited trial basis in the operations of a State agency or facility. Since May 2015, the Test Bed Program has received applications for two products: a reflector lens by Energy Savings Lights, LLC and an intelligent boiler control unit by Fireye Inc.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

University of Delaware’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy: The Center is composed of an internationally diverse faculty and research staff with backgrounds in a variety of disciplines including economics, sociology, geography, political science, philosophy, engineering, urban planning and environmental studies. As part of the Center's energy sustainability theme, researchers explore sustainable energy utilities and clean energy futures.

University of Delaware’s Mid-Atlantic Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) is one of 24 in the country that provides energy, waste and productivity assessments to small and mid-sized manufacturers with a concentration in energy efficiency. The Energy Savings Assessments are conducted at no cost and offer the next generation of engineer’s valuable hands-on training while producing energy efficiency recommendations resulting in reduced energy consumption. Since its creation the IAC has yielded over 100+ clients 10%-30% energy bill reductions. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the Mid-Atlantic IAC the “Center of Excellence” award. 

Delaware Technical and Community College was awarded $4,297,800 in grants in 2009-2010 by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build energy facilities at three of their campuses; Owens, Terry, and Stanton. The construction of these buildings marks the region’s first comprehensive workforce development centers in the field of energy efficiency. Delaware Tech’s Energy House and Center for Energy Education and Training were both awarded LEED Platinum certifications. The Sustainable Energy Training Center was awarded LEED Gold. Delaware Technical & Community College partnered with Trane and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) to create the Trane Center of Excellence. The Center is the fourth of its kind across the country and has the ability to run simulations on energy efficiency opportunities at a system level, as opposed to the unitary level approach which allows for maximum energy efficiency gains. This Center is key for preparing Delaware’s energy efficiency workforce through real-life applications of commercial air handling units, boilers, and chillers.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Green Building Fund Grant program supports "greening" the built environment in the District of Columbia. Grant projects focused on research, data analysis, training, or engagement help the District lead the way in enacting innovative policies that drive toward greater social, environmental, and economic sustainability for the city. Since the program launched in 2013, over $2.5 million has been invested in 17 projects. These innovative research programs provide the necessary backbone for creation of informed public policies that will help build a truly sustainable city. Past and current projects that focus on increasing energy efficiency include the Smarter DC Challenge, which focuses on businesses and commercial properties; Power Down DC ,which focuses on the multifamily residential market; a Green Finance study, which analyzed and made recommendations for implementing a suite of financial programs that would increase energy efficiency, including the creation of a green bank and incentives for deep green buildings; a Microgrid feasibility study; a Sustainable Community Planning project to conduct Living Community planning into large development parcels; the development of Historic Building Sustainability Guidelines, to remove barriers to the use of energy-efficient practices in retrofits of historic structures; and Tools for Deep Green Building which will provide training and technical resources to support zero energy buildings. In August 2018, the District released its Comprehensive Energy Plan, Clean Energy DC, which lays out 55 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions citywide by over 50% by 2032. Specific energy efficiency actions are modeled, including net-zero energy codes by 2026, major retrofit programs for at least 20% of citywide floor area, a Building Energy Performance Standard for existing buildings, leveraging district energy for enhanced efficiency, and the use of mode shift to reduce transportation energy use. DOEE is also formally investigating energy efficiency measures that can be taken with respect to the electric and natural gas distribution systems in connection with Formal Case 1130 (Modernizing Energy Delivery System for Increased Sustainability) and Formal Case 1137 (Washington Gas's base rate filing).

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies (REET) Grant Program was a competitive grant program designed to provide funding to conduct demonstration, commercialization, research and development projects relating to renewable energy technologies and innovative technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency for vehicles and commercial buildings. The application submission period for this program is closed. Currently, there are three grant recipients performing research with REET funds:

  • University of South Florida: “Large-Scale Development of an Innovative Algae Technology as a Sustainable Source of Renewable Energy and Products to Enhance and Diversity Florida's Economy” — Grant Funds $250,000.
  • University of Florida: “A Versatile Photovoltaic Window Technology for Building Integrated Photovoltaic Applications” — Grant Funds $399,919
  • T2C Energy LLC: “Catalytic Conversion of AD Biogas and Landfill Gas into Drop-in Fuel” — Partial Grant Funding $123,967

There are several research centers in Florida as well:

• The University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center's (FSEC) research projects include: industrialized housing; zero net-energy buildings; fenestration; energy efficient schools; green standards; ceiling fans; electric vehicles; polymer electrolyte fuel cells; hydrogen production and storage; and distributed renewable energy systems integration (stationary and V2G). FSEC has a 20-acre campus on the Space Coast, and receives funding from government research grants and UCF.

• The Energy and Sustainability Center (ESC) at Florida State University addresses challenging alternative energy issues through innovative solutions for consumers and industry. ESC’s Off-Grid Zero Emission Building project created an energy-efficient mold for alternative energy technologies in both residential and commercial buildings. Other energy efficiency research has focused on both PEM fuel cells and water electrolysis.  ESC receives funding from the University.

Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) at University of South Florida pursues research and development of environmentally clean energy systems, such as photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), energy storage (thermal storage, batteries, supercapacitors), photocatalytic detoxification/disinfection technologies, hydrogen production and solid state storage, new efficient thermodynamic cycles, solar energy conversion/rectifying antenna (rectenna), and biomass conversion/biofuels.

• The Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) was created in 2008 by Florida statute to promote collaboration among the energy experts at Florida’s 12 public universities and to connect Florida industry with university research expertise and facilities. FESC members develop innovative energy systems that lead to alternative energy strategies, improved energy efficiencies, and enhanced economic development. The major programs within the consortium are energy research, technology transfer/commercialization, education, and outreach.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Funded in part by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), the Southface Energy Institute conducts research and training on energy-efficient housing and communities. GEFA collaborates with the Institute on its weatherization training and technical assistance.

At the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS) focuses on engineering water and power infrastructures that prove to be more efficient than current systems and help reduce the risk of supply- or demand-driven system failures. The Institute’s current efficiency-based research is centered on its Sustainable Infrastructure for Energy and Water Systems (SINEWS) Project funded by the National Science Foundation. This project includes secondary teams from Arizona State University and the University of Georgia. 

Last Reviewed: July 2018

The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii focuses on the development of technologies in the energy field. The Institute's work covers a wide range of research areas such as renewable energy, energy storage, energy-efficient buildings, fuel cells, grid systems, and transportation.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is a research and education consortium bringing together Idaho National Laboratory, Boise State University, Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Wyoming. CAES provides a collaborative, multi-mission environment that integrates resources to create new research capabilities and enhance energy-related educational opportunities. CAES-affiliated members can expand the breadth of their research and provide rich, hands-on experiences for students, national laboratory scientists, and industry researchers by sharing laboratories, equipment, and ideas. Research areas span a range of energy topics: nuclear energy, energy-water nexus, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and innovative energy systems. The main CAES research facility—located near University of Idaho/Idaho State University’s Idaho Falls campus and most of INL’s in-town facilities — is a 55,000-square-foot building that includes eight laboratories with state-of-the-art research equipment and offices for CAES personnel. Research is also conducted at each of the member institutions, giving CAES scientists and engineers, industry partners, and others access to a wide range of equipment, capabilities, and infrastructure.

The Idaho National Laboratory also conducts research on energy efficiency concepts. Idaho National Laboratory’s Energy and Environment Science and Technology Directorate (EES&T) is responding to national transitions in power generation, expanded development of renewable energy systems and limited water resources. It offers innovations in transportation systems, clean energy, advanced manufacturing and environmental sustainability. The lab works to improve energy storage and electric vehicle systems based on scientific understanding, uncertainty analysis, testing and validation. The Biomass Feedstock National User Facility is helping industry deploy biomass-based fuels and chemicals by providing proof-of-concept tests. At the micro-grid test bed, INL experts test dynamic storage and load-balancing options. Laboratory engineers are helping put these concepts into practice in isolated U.S. communities and at U.S. military bases around the world. INL also is building an integrated energy test bed to understand the technical issues associated with coupling nuclear, renewable and fossil energy sources to produce electrical and nonelectrical energy products. In addition, INL is working to develop manufacturing processes with net-zero waste and new ways to convert carbon into useful fuel sources. The lab’s exceptional talent and effective partnerships are the essential elements of research with impact.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Energy Resources Center (UIC-ERC) focuses on energy conservation and production concepts and technologies. As part of its mission statement, the Center has the responsibility to assist both private and public institutions at the local, state and public levels. To fulfill this directive, the Center’s Engineering Solutions Group focuses on finding practical answers to energy problems in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential markets. Through the use of energy audits, computer modeling and on-site consultation and evaluation, the group identifies opportunities for improved efficiency and reduced utility bills. Working with city, state, and national organizations, the group finds the most energy conscious, efficient and cost-effective strategies available to clients. The Center receives funding from the University and a variety of public and private clients, and sponsorships including the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Commonwealth Edison.  

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne promotes sustainability through resource conservation, pollution prevention, and research efforts including energy efficiency.

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign undertake applied energy conservation research.  Much of the work revolves around the ways in which cities consume energy and its implications including the associated externalities and climate change implications.  The Department has been associated with several climate action planning efforts, research on urban metabolism, the effects of energy dashboards, and other energy related behavior change research.

SEDAC collaborates with researchers in Economics, Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning, the Information Trust Institute, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and the Illinois State Water Survey on topics including: macroeconomic analysis of statewide energy planning, building-level impacts of smart grid demand response systems, energy efficiency degradation in buildings, energy impacts of water chemistry management, open source energy information systems, and human factors in successful building commissioning.

The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is a natural gas research, development and training organization that evaluates natural gas and energy markets across the industry's value chain: supply, delivery, and end use. It offers an integrated systems perspective to expand the supply of affordable energy, ensure a safe and reliable energy delivery infrastructure, and promote the efficient use of energy resources. In recent years the State and Illinois IOUs have partnered with GTI to perform emerging technology research and development for its ratepayer EE programs.  Currently the State has partnered with GTI to specifically consider what new natural gas EE technologies are particularly suitable for low income and public sector customers.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The Energy Efficiency and Reliability Center at Purdue University Calumet has been formed to provide technology and assistance to a variety of applications that use energy. The Center seeks to help businesses obtain the maximum benefit from the energy they purchase or produce. Various types of assistance are available including research, new technology, energy survey assistance, environmental emissions reduction, and renewable energy sources optimized individually as well as in conjunction with Combined Heat and Power systems.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The Iowa Energy Center strives to advance efficiency and renewable energy within the state through research and development while providing a model for the state to decrease its dependence on imported fuels. In late 2017, administration of the Iowa Energy Center program was transferred to the state energy office at Iowa Economic Development Authority. The Iowa Energy Center receives its funding from an annual assessment on the gross intrastate revenues of all gas and electric utilities in Iowa. The Center has historically offered a Competitive Grant Program that awards funds to Iowa-based nonprofit groups to conduct energy-related research, demonstration, and education projects. Projects under this program ranged in size and complexity and were conducted throughout the state by researchers at Iowa’s major universities, colleges, community colleges, and at nonprofit energy organizations and community-based educational groups. The program is currently undergoing revision and will resume sponsoring eligible projects in mid-2018. The legislative-defined mission of the Iowa Energy Center at the Iowa Economic Development Authority is to support implementation activities of the Iowa Energy Plan, of which energy efficiency was one of the four foundational pillars.

The state also partners with private companies for research and development of energy-efficient technologies through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). IEDA offers a variety of programs to Iowa businesses for energy efficiency-related research and development investment. These programs include a research activities credit program, a Demonstration Fund program, and the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund. Through IEDA, Iowa supports $2 million in research activities in small and medium-sized companies as well as technology transfer and commercialization efforts.

The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) helps children, youth, and adults make sense of complex environmental and energy-related issues while finding ways for the community to participate in positive, solution-oriented responses. The CEEE creates opportunities for UNI students and faculty to take leadership roles in creating more sustainable communities, and brings diverse stakeholders together to find common ground while working to solve problems.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Studio 804, Inc. is a not-for profit 501(c)(3) corporation that works in partnership with the University of Kansas’ School of Architecture, Design, and Planning, and is committed to the continued research and development of sustainable, affordable, and inventive building solutions. For the last 16 years, Studio 804 has pioneered new technologies and advanced construction techniques. The corporation has completed five LEED Platinum projects to date, including the Sustainable Prototype in Greensburg, Kansas.

Established in the 1970s at Wichita State University, the Center for Energy Studies researches efficient and innovative solutions for the electric power industry. It is one of thirteen university members of the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC), an organization including the Dept. of Energy, National Science Foundation, the Electric Power Research Institute, industry, and utilities.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research (CCRER) at the University of Louisville provides research in renewable energy and encourages the development of technologies and practices that increase energy efficiency.  The Center's ongoing goal is to seek outcomes that enhance global energy and economic security and maintain US technological leadership in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies. The Conn Center leads research that increases homegrown energy sources to meet the national need while reducing energy consumption and dependence on foreign oil.  The Center has steadily been increasing its annual research expenditures from $900 thousand in 2007 to $2.1 million in 2011 with the expected goal of reaching $5 million by 2016.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

While not research, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette operates the Smart and Secure Energy Assessment Program with funding from the Louisiana State Energy Office and focuses on energy efficiency opportunities at light industrial and commercial facilities. No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2018

The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) invests in research and development. MTI defines their areas of focus as clusters and one of those is Energy and the Environment and explicitly includes energy efficiency technologies.  

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), now a partner of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, serves as a hub and key information resource for businesses in the energy efficiency and conservation sectors. MCEC holds its annual Clean Energy Summit and features a series of educational sessions about emerging technologies and practices such as smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure and innovative financing. MCEC sponsors the Maryland Clean Energy Technology Incubator@bwtech (CETI@bwtech). CETI supports entrepreneurs and early stage energy efficiency and conservation businesses seeking to transition from research and development into demonstration and ultimately commercialization. CETI provides services specifically tailored to the needs of companies working with renewable energy, as well as energy management and storage technologies. University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) faculty and students in the clean energy sector also provide tenant companies with assistance.

The Maryland Energy Innovation Institute was formed in 2017 by statute (SB313 of 2017) to collaborate with academic institutions in the State to participate in clean energy programs, as well as to develop and attract private investment in clean energy innovation. Under the enabling statute, the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute can, amongst other things, 1) coordinate and promote energy research and education; 2) provide energy policy innovation advice; 3) collaborate with other institutions, governmental units, foundations, and companies for clean energy research and innovation; 4) pursue grants for energy research; 5) provide seed grant funding to academic institution-based entrepreneurs or entities in order to promote the commercialization of clean energy technologies; and 6) work with the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute to jointly manage, operate, and maintain facilities for a clean energy incubator at the University of Maryland. In 2018, the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute provided four seed grants of $100K; one seed grant went to "RoCo (the Roving Comforter)" energy efficiency project.

The Center for Environmental Energy Engineering operates the Consortium for Energy Efficiency and Heat Pumps, which "focuses on developing comprehensive information for the detailed physics of transport processes, innovative energy conversion components and systems, and new cost-effective test methods."

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Partnership (MAEEP) supports demonstration of energy efficiency technology and tools to the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. The MAEEP program leverages resources from U.S. DOE, the University of Massachusetts and Massachusetts electric utilities.

The Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst provides technological and economic solutions to environmental problems resulting from energy production, industrial, manufacturing, and commercial activities, and land use practices. The university-based research program is built upon four subgroups of Renewable Energy Resources, Building Energy Efficiency, Industrial Energy Efficiency, and Environmental Technologies with unique abilities to service energy and environmental problems. The Center has 43 faculty and staff and is funded in part through U.S. DOE grants. 

Massachusetts is also leveraging $4.5 million in grants to pilot programs to demonstrate energy-efficient technologies in the building sector.

In 2014, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) in collaboration with DOER, launched the Mass. as First Customer Program, which aims to help young, innovative clean energy firms develop market and customers at public entities for their products, technologies and services. Working with DOER and DCAMM, the program has held 2 innovative technology vendor fairs, one targeted at all public agencies and one at public colleges and universities. Additionally, the Program is identifying a small subset of companies that have products ready to go to market and will work closely with state partners to identify potential host sites for both pilots and installations.

Massachusetts also supports an extensive system of clean energy R&D and market development centers and incubators, including:  Institute of Energy and Sustainability, North Shore Innoventures, and other entrepreneurship incubators that do not focus on clean energy specifically but do support some energy efficiency businesses. In 2015, DOER worked with UMass again to expand services to residents and businesses through the Clean Energy Extension (CEE) program. The CEE works to reduce market barriers and accelerate the adoption of clean energy for Massachusetts cities and towns, businesses, institutions, farms, low income and multi-unit housing, and others. The CEE's mission is to provide outreach, technical assistance, and research to the market.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Michigan NextEnergy Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on energy efficiency and battery storage that leases laboratory facilities, business incubator space, and other facilities to support the state's alternative energy industry. NextEnergy partners with Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to provide energy related services to companies in the areas of energy storage, energy efficiency, mobility, and advanced transportation related issues for both mature and early stage companies.  The MEDC has established a matching fund, the MATch (Michigan Accelerating Technologies) Energy Grant, for federal funding opportunities in the energy field from a variety of federal agencies.  

NextEnergy also runs the I-Corps Energy and Transportation program in conjunction with UM who is an NSF I-Corp node, and helps with white papers, grant writing, and business plan development.  They also provide services for the MEDC Business Development & Attraction teams with match making and generating leads, and they are working with the Automotive team on advanced mobility and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).   

The Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan conducts research to help deliver energy efficiency solutions, new clean energy jobs, and provide natural resource, environmental, and economic technologies.  Research includes energy-efficient buildings, solar, CHP, biomass, and wind energy.  The Center was first created in March 2011, funded by an initial grant from the Michigan Energy Office and its private sector partner, Energy Systems Group.

In the past, the state has provided funding for the Michigan NextEnergy Center and the Clean Energy Research Center. While these programs are still ongoing, they do not currently receive funding from the state. 

Last Reviewed: July 2017

To help achieve the State Energy Conservation Goal on a sustained basis, the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 (the Act) created a Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) Grant Program funded through utility assessments. With a $3.6 million annual budget and over $25.5 million in funded R&D since its establishment, the CARD Program is designed to identify new technologies or strategies to maximize energy savings, improve the effectiveness of energy conservation programs, and document the carbon dioxide reductions from energy conservation projects. The CARD program currently has a portfolio of approximately 90 R&D projects that have leveraged over $6.3 million in matching funds from grantees. 

The Center of Diesel Research at the University of Minnesota focuses on the energy-efficiency and environmental impact of internal combustion engines. The Center for Energy and Environment’s Innovation Exchange is a hub for researching, synthesizing and pioneering energy efficiency solutions.   

The Center for Energy and Environment is a hub for independent research, analysis and pioneering energy efficiency solutions.  

The Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota leads and supports the transformation of the regional built environment to provide for the ecological, economic, and social needs of the present without compromising those of the future. Research areas include guiding and rating systems, housing, life cycle assessment, windows and glazing, design for community resilience, and building evaluation.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Energy Institute (EI) at Mississippi State University works to develop new technologies to promote energy efficiency through combined heating and power concepts and energy audits, as well as developing technology to generate renewable transportation and heating fuel from biomass. MSU also has the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS), which conducts research on automotive fuel efficiency and has won the Challenge X competition a couple of times.

The Institute of Higher Learning (governing body for the state’s universities) formed an energy council a decade ago and have an internal sustainability policy (attached). Their systemwide avoided cost over 10 years is in excess of $100 million.

Under Mississippi's “Smart Business Act,” a corporation collaborating with a State university for research and development purposes, including energy-related research, is eligible for a 25 percent rebate of the total research costs.

Last Reviewed: August 2019

The Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium (MEERC) located at the University of Missouri-Columbia in partnership with regional industry partners and government agencies, is focused on developing academic courses and training programs, advancing development and applications of energy efficient technologies and disseminating information on the value of energy efficiency.  Six consortium partner centers are part of MEERC -Lighting Research Center, High Performance Building Center, Energy Solutions and Service Center, Agricultural Energy Efficiency Center, Low Energy Heating and Cooling Center, and Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Center. 

The National Energy Retrofit Institute at the University of Central Missouri is a consortium formed to promote an energy retrofit model for the residential energy efficiency sector.

The Energy Research and Development Center at Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Research includes a spectrum of energy issues including resources and efficiency of their use, processing facilities, generation facilities and the entire energy infrastructure needed as well as ensuring the sustainability of our environment.

Mid‐America Regional Council (MARC) has formed a partnership with a consortium of city and county governments, entitled the Regional Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (REECS) Initiative. Eleven area communities work together to help the region conserve energy and use it wisely, as well as providing training and guidance on updated energy codes. Missouri REECS communities include Blue Springs, Clay County, Independence, Jackson County, Johnson County, Kansas City, and Lee's Summit.

Exploring Energy Efficiency and Alternatives (E3A) is a non-biased, research-based program on energy efficiency and small renewable energy technologies for the home, farm, and ranch.      

Last Reviewed: July 2019

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR) is a fifteen-year initiative between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) established in 2006  to conduct research on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy conservation, and to expand economic opportunities and improve quality of life for Nebraska and the nation. The Center supports both basic and applied research and has a broad mandate to explore a range of renewable energy opportunities (including biofuels, wind, and solar energy), as well as opportunities for energy conservation.  To date, $10 million has been contributed to the initiative.

The Energy Savings Potential (ESP) program is a collaboration between the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Omaha Public Power District. Since 2006, OPPD has allocated $500,000 a year for research on consumer behavior and ways to reduce energy consumption. Past research has studied low-income energy usage, neighborhood energy action efforts, real-time energy monitoring and commercial customer energy efficiency program adoption.

University of Nebraska Utility Corporation (NUCorp) is a partnership between Lincoln Electric System and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to develop new projects for identifying, financing, implementing and tracking demand-side management and energy efficiency projects at the university.

Last Reviewed: July 2018

The Center for Energy Research at University of Nevada-Las Vegas engages in both energy efficiency and renewable energy research. Conventional power generation systems, energy conservation devices and systems, and environmental control issues for energy systems are of interest.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The Rutgers Center for Green Building (RCGB) is contracted by New Jersey’s Office of Clean Energy to serve as an independent evaluator and provide regular analyses of NJCEP energy efficiency programs as well as develop research and recommendations related to new programs. RCGB promotes green building through research, advocacy and education. The Center conducts applied research utilizing planned and existing green building projects, works with industry and government to promote these concepts, and develops undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs. It seeks to establish itself as the pre-eminent interdisciplinary center for green building excellence in the Northeast, while serving as a single accessible locus for fostering collaboration among green building practitioners and policy-makers.

The proposed FY2020 budget also includes $4,000,000 for Research and Development Energy Tech hub which will include energy efficiency measures, $4,000,000 to support innovation in clean energy including energy efficiency and $8,152,103 for incentives for Smart technology devices that allow ratepayers to reduce their own energy consumption (i.e. smart thermostats). In June 2019, the BPU will initiate a proceeding to establish a process and mechanism for achieving the state’s goals of energy storage, allowing for more efficient use of energy and addressing peak demand issues.

Working with other partner agencies and stakeholders, the Clean Energy Program will also provide critical curriculum funding in the amount of $3,000,000 to support the development of curricula around energy savings for elementary, middle school and high school students.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) supports a broad range of technology research, development and commercialization activities, and exists within a deep network of other New York based organizations having similar missions. NYSERDA makes strategically significant investments in scientific research, market analysis, product development, and technology field validation. These investments are used to provide knowledge on the environmental impacts of current and emerging energy options, conduct early-stage market analysis associated with new technologies, advance clean energy innovations towards market readiness, and stimulate an innovation economy in New York.  The support provided by NYSERDA to develop and test new products and technologies have and will improve the energy efficiency and expand the energy options for the buildings, industrial, transportation, power, and environmental sectors of the New York economy. In addition to the investments made to assist with technology development and validation, NYSERDA also helps to build a growing clean energy business ecosystem through investments in multi-use assets and through support for industry consortia; the aim of which is to support the environment or ecosystem within which clean technology companies are more likely to be incepted and nurtured for better growth prospects. Key components of this strategy are Proof of Concept Centers (POCC) and Incubators. 

The Center for Sustainable & Renewable Energy (CSRE) at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry is a clearinghouse for all 64 SUNY campuses’ research and development in the areas of energy efficiency and sustainability.  Its current efficiency focuses are the New York “Green Campus” Energy Efficiency Initiative and a water efficiency feasibility study involving Lake Ontario.

The Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory (BEESL) at Syracuse University is a research lab associated with the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, the New York Strategically Targeted Academic Research Center for Environmental Quality Systems, and the New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center. BEESL advances technologies for indoor environmental quality, energy efficient buildings, air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturing, and power generation and distribution. It was established in November 1999 with funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Assembly, National Grid, Syracuse University, and a $2 million gift from Frances and Fritz Traugott.  It has a staff of nearly 40 and is funded through research grants from a variety of US agencies, New York State agencies, NGOs, and corporations, as well as from Syracuse University.

The Institute for Urban Systems at City University of New York (CIUS) identifies innovative solutions to the problems of aging capital stock, environmental sustainability, and urban economic competitiveness in the management of transportation, energy, water, buildings, and other infrastructure systems.

The Energy and Environmental Technology Application Center (E2TAC) at Albany State University is also at the forefront of energy-related issues such as smart grid energy efficiency, thermoelectric, power electronics, sensors and superconductors, and advanced PVs.

The Clean Energy Fund (CEF), recently approved in NYS provides a consistent funding commitment over a 10-year period (R&D investment is $70 million annually) for strategic investments in clean energy research and development. This long-term support is unique compared with other states and provides a strong signal to entrepreneurs and startup companies that NY is willing to make the sustained commitment necessary to develop and commercialize clean energy technologies that support the economy and the environment.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The North Carolina Solar Center focuses on energy efficiency to assist commercial and industrial clients in saving energy. This team operates multiple programs focusing on combined heat and power (CHP) technology in the Southeast. The Center also operates the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).

The Center for Energy Research and Technology (CERT) at North Carolina A&T State University conducts research on reducing energy and water consumption and promoting sustainable energy design practices. The Center is currently focused on creating an energy efficient, environmentally responsible society by promoting and developing carbon dioxide emissions reduction, energy independence, and net-zero energy and sustainable design practices. The center was founded in 1984, and receives funding from the city of Greensboro and the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Appalachian State University’s Energy Center, housed within the College of Graduate Studies and Research, is an applied research and public service program through which the university makes its resources, faculty and professional staff available to address economic, business, government and social issues and problems related to renewable energy policy, technology and development.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The Center for Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment (CESE) at Ohio State University (OSU) is a research center for the College of Engineering to coalesce its research strengths, including clean energy, energy efficiency, and policy. CESE conducts research in efficient energy infrastructure systems (e.g. power grid, and transportation networks), as well as "systems of energy systems" (e.g. smart micro grids, and markets). CESE also serves to integrate and advance the research strengths represented through several affiliated centers and labs.  

Last Reviewed: July 2017

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2018

VertueLab, formerly Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center, is an independent, nonprofit organization established by the Oregon legislature to help Oregon businesses compete globally by transforming and commercializing university research into new technologies, services, products, and companies. VertueLab shares research facilities for study of energy-efficient buildings as well as providing energy-efficiency research grants.

The University of Oregon Energy Studies in Building Laboratory conducts research on buildings and related transportation to develop strategies for maximum energy efficiency in new materials, components, assemblies, and whole buildings.

The Baker Lighting Lab at University of Oregon provides support and opportunities for the exploration of light design ideas. Among other facets, it studies daylighting and the control of these systems.

Portland State University’s Green Building Research Laboratory is a facility where researchers work to solve the fundamental and applied research questions related to indoor and urban air quality, sustainable buildings, and human exposure to air pollution.

The Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable energy. In the area of energy efficiency, the Trust runs programs to field test emerging technologies.

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) is a university transportation center, based at Portland State University. It is a partnership between Portland State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the Oregon Institute of Technology. The group supports innovation through advanced technology, integration of land use and transportation, and healthy communities. OTREC has teamed up with Portland-based Green Lite Motors to bring a 100 mile-per-gallon vehicle closer to market.

Oregon State University’s Nexus of Energy, Water and Agriculture Laboratory studies the physical, operational and geospatial connections in the energy-water-food nexus.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Energy Research Center (ERC) at Lehigh University is a multidisciplinary research group with major emphasis on research dealing with energy conversion, power generation, and environmental control. Research within the Center is supported by contracts and grants from government and industry. The Center has particularly close ties with industry, with a significant number of joint research projects involving Lehigh faculty, staff, and students and staff from private industry. The Center also operates the Energy Liaison Program, which provides consultation and problem-solving assistance to participating companies for up to $20,000 a year.

The Indoor Environment Center (IEC) at the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment conducts interdisciplinary research, knowledge transfer, and outreach activities to support the development of indoor environments that are more safe, more thermally, visually, and acoustically comfortable, and that minimize the use of energy and other resources.

The Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI) is located at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. CBEI is comprised of 14 organizations including major research universities, global industrial firms, and national laboratories from across the United States who collaborate to develop and demonstrate solutions for 50% energy reduction in existing buildings by 2030. CBEI is a research and demonstration center that works in close partnership with DOE's Building Technologies Office. 

In addition, several state-funded financial incentives encourage research activities. The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority requires a research component directly related to each project, and the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) funds innovative research projects including electric vehicles and fuel cells. As one of the largest unregulated electric distribution systems on the East Coast, the Navy Yard at Penn State provides a unique test bed for new technologies. The Scott Institute supports Carnegie Mellon University strategic energy research and innovation through faculty funding, strategic partnerships and investments.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension created the Energy Fellows Program to place students with various energy companies, agencies, and organizations throughout the state to get workforce training and learn about Rhode Island energy issues. Most of the 2018 participants conduct research and outreach on energy efficiency. 

Last Reviewed: July 2019

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Tennessee’s energy efficiency research and development field comprises a variety of contributors, including several higher education institutions as well as a national laboratory. More information on these efforts follows.

The University of Tennessee - Knoxville (UT-Knoxville)

UT-Knoxville has a strong partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which collaborates with other state stakeholders and industry members, including the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), on energy research. The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) also promotes the commercialization and deployment of advanced technologies, some of which are related to energy efficiency.

UT-Knoxville hosts several educational energy exhibits and infrastructure projects on its campus and various properties, serving as student and faculty tools for both public outreach and academic research. In December 2018, State and local leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of the I-40 Solar Farm Information and Welcome Center in Haywood County. On display is an interactive exhibit designed by UT-Knoxville, SPECTRUM, which highlights advancements in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The facility, designed by Memphis firm ANF Architect and funded by TDEC OEP, also features a nearly 360-degree view of the surrounding 5 MW, 25-acre West Tennessee Solar Farm, which surrounds the building.

Additionally, a solar array installed in April 2015 on a UT-Knoxville parking garage has proven to make the campus more energy efficient and continually serves as a research tool for students seeking to develop and study next generation renewable energy technologies. Research on this array and the efficiency impacts of on-campus power generation will continue for at least the next few years.

The Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center, led by UT-Knoxville, which is jointly supported by the National Science Foundation and U.S. DOE. Partner higher education institutions include Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tuskegee University. CURENT's research focuses on improvement in grid transmission efficiency, better accommodation of renewable energy sources, full utilization of energy storage, and accommodation of responsive load. CURENT’s main project is to contribute to a nationwide transmission grid vision that will be fully monitored and dynamically controlled in real-time for high efficiency, high reliability, low cost, better accommodation of renewable energy sources, full utilization of energy storage, and accommodation of responsive load. CURENT partners, including the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, ORNL, National Instruments, EPRI, TVA, and Green Energy Corp, will work to assist in project implementation and eventual commercialization.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) is a public-private partnership led by UT-Knoxville that focuses on advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites, which combine strong fibers with tough plastics to cost-effectively manufacture materials that are lighter and stronger than steel. IACMI is supported by a $70 million commitment from DOE and a $189 million commitment from IACMI's partners (including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University, and more). IACMI has also received a $15 million commitment from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development as part of an effort to facilitate local breakthroughs in energy-efficient manufacturing and materials. Established by UTRF as a Tennessee-based nonprofit 501(c)(3), IACMI houses more than 170 members and continues to overcome barriers to the use of advanced composites through the development of low-cost, high-speed, and energy-efficient manufacturing and recycling processes. Through this work, IACMI will focus on lowering the production cost of advanced composites by 25%, reducing the energy used to make composites by 50%, and increasing the recyclability of composites to over 80% within 10 years.

Of IACMI’s 55 active research and development projects, 9 have been completed, 15 are in process, and 31 are in review. See a full list of IACMI’s energy efficiency projects at

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) 

As a U.S. DOE National Laboratory, ORNL applies expertise in advanced materials, supercomputing, neutrons, and nuclear science to national priorities in energy, security, and scientific discovery. ORNL’s research community works with many of the country’s best innovators and businesses to research, develop, and demonstrate cutting-edge technologies and to break down market barriers in sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency. ORNL views the acceleration of widespread clean energy innovation as necessary to providing affordable and reliable energy, promoting economic growth, and supporting energy security.

ORNL’s DOE-designated National User Facilities provide locations for collaborative research and development on energy efficient technologies and include: the Buildings Technologies Research and Integration Center; the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility; and the National Transportation Research Center. ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle.

Research highlights in the aforementioned areas include: 

  • Researching low-global warming potential alternative refrigerants.
  • Driving innovation and efficiency in home appliances.
  • Transferring materials science to the building envelope space.
  • Developing low-cost, efficiently produced carbon fiber.
  • Developing new, efficiently produced materials and alloys for U.S. manufacturing.
  • Accelerating the electrification of transportation.
  • Developing lightweight, domestically sourced, and efficiently produced materials for future vehicles.

Tennessee Technological University (TTU) 

The Center for Manufacturing Research at TTU focuses on advanced manufacturing and materials for energy storage and conversion. The Center conducts energy assessments as part of its DOE-funded Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), which has been active since 2006. Through the IAC, engineering professors and students perform onsite energy assessments on industrial sites to locate and recommend energy efficiency opportunities. In 2018, the IAC was recognized as a Center of Excellence by U.S. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office for its outstanding performance, having completed 220 assessments and identified $26.99 million in stakeholder cost savings throughout its life.

TTU also houses a Center for Energy Systems Research (CESR), established to advance energy system design, efficiency, and resilience. Read more about its energy efficiency activities here.

University of Memphis 

The University of Memphis houses a second TN-based, U.S. DOE-funded IAC, which provides no-cost studies of manufacturing plants across West Tennessee, North Mississippi, and Eastern Arkansas. Engineering and Technology students perform studies analyzing a plant’s energy, waste, and productivity issues. In addition, the IAC provides an educational opportunity to engineering students through on-site plant visits, data analysis, and technical report writing. On average, recommended actions from an assessment result in annual cost savings of $55,000.

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) 

MTSU houses a Center for Energy Efficiency, which provides both an organized approach to campus-wide efficiency projects as well as educational opportunities for students and the professional community. Focusing on its “Three Cs”—Campus, Classroom, and Community—the Center supervises building retrofits, energy management projects, infrastructure upgrades, etc.; offers cooperative internship opportunities and job placement for students in energy efficiency fields; and provides educational/energy certification seminars, training opportunities, and leadership resources.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is currently researching several energy topics supported by funding awards from the National Science Foundation and U.S. DOE, totaling around $3 million. Learn more about the University’s efforts here.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Texas A&M Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) is a division of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station and focuses on energy-related research, energy efficiency, and emissions reduction. ESL directs its efforts toward innovative energy technologies and systems and commercializing affordable results for industry, and also plays an important role in the implementation of state energy standards. TEES researchers are also developing web based tools to test the energy efficiency of new homes before construction. 

The Center for Energy and Environmental Resources (CEER) serves as the central liaison for energy and environmental research, education, and public service at the University of Texas at Austin. It focuses on efficient and economical use of energy and on ensuring a cleaner environment by developing, in cooperation with industry, processes and technologies that minimize waste and conserve natural resources. CEER occupies over 43,000 sq. feet of lab and office space, and is funded from numerous state, federal, and private sources.

In addition, the State Energy Office supports clean energy business technology incubators affiliated with three universities. Companies served by these incubators deliver products and services for the overall energy efficiency space. 

Last Reviewed: July 2017

The University of Utah leads the Alliance for Computationally-guided Design of Energy Efficiency Electronic Materials (CDE3M), a partnership between the University of Utah, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, Brown University, the University of California, Davis, and the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy. This program was formed as a result of a need by the U.S. Army for more energy efficient power supplies and materials. Research areas include electrochemical energy devices, heterogeneous metamorphic electronics, and hybrid photonic devices.

The USTAR Energy Research Triangle (ERT) Program offers competitive grants aimed at fostering energy innovation across Utah's universities. The program offers two categories of grants: one that encourages collaboration among researcher professors across the state, and another for students conducting research on energy.

The Division of Facilities and Construction Management manages a small internal fund to allow for building performance studies and research. The fund is primarily used to fund re-commissioning studies of various levels including lighting up-grades. Currently there are 14 active projects that have resulted from this level of research. There is an additional research project under-way to understand the connection between emissions from buildings and air quality impacts.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The University of Vermont Smart Grid Research Center conducts research on the technological, human behavior, and public policy implications of smart grid technology, including its use to increase energy efficiency. 

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Southern Virginia Product Advancement Center, formerly known as the Riverstone Energy Centre, offers services supporting commercialization of new clean energy technologies, including energy efficiency. The R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency supports projects in advanced manufacturing and energy efficiency.

The Center for Innovative Technology's Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund invests in research, technology development, and commercialization at Virginia colleges and universities, companies, federal labs and other research institutions to advance high-potential technologies and drive economic development in the Commonwealth.

The state also offers grants to encourage collaboration between private investors and Virginia’s educational institutions to conduct R&D activities in the tobacco regions of the Commonwealth.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The Smart Buildings Center, formerly known as the Northwest Building Energy Technology Hub (NBETH), is a statewide proof-of-concept center and regional test bed for building energy technology development and commercial acceleration.

The Energy Program at Washington State University (WSU) is a self-supported department that operates similar to a consulting firm. Its mission is to advance environmental and economic well-being by providing energy services, products, education and information based on world-class research.

The Clean Energy Fund Research, Development and Demonstration Match Program: These competitive grants fund public and private electric utilities serving Washington consumers for electrical grid modernization projects. Funds must advance clean, renewable energy technologies and transmission and distribution control systems; support integration of renewable energy sources, deployment of distributed energy resources and sustainable micro grids; or increase utility customer choice in energy sources, efficiency, equipment and utility services. Since 2013, the legislature has authorized $39 million in funds. The legislature has authorized an additional $1.7 million for the 19-21 biennium for competitive award.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

The West Virginia University Energy Institute works to achieve energy independence and to transition to more sustainable energy forms. Research projects focus on carbon capture and geologic storage, high-efficiency engines and vehicle technologies, fuel production, clean power generation and distribution, utilization of coal for clean fuels and chemicals, biomass conversion and utilization, and sustainable use of water in energy production. AEI currently has 15 staff in their Sustainable Energy program, which houses the Initiative’s energy efficiency research. 

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Seventhwave (formerly Energy Center of Wisconsin) is an independent nonprofit that advances sustainability through energy consulting, continuing education, research and program design. It conducts technology and field research; education programs; program evaluation and market research; program development; and implementation. The organization is funded through state, ratepayer, private, and other sources, and features an award-winning program on building energy use in commercial new construction. 

Wisconsin Focus on Energy operates an Emerging Technology (ET) program that promotes emerging, industrial, energy efficiency technologies.  The program deploys and commercializes those emerging industrial technologies that have the potential for large, cost-effective energy savings and multiple installations in Wisconsin. The program can provide technology evaluations, development plans, and funding for businesses that have developed new technologies.

Solar Energy Lab (SEL) at University of Wisconsin emphasizes the application of engineering concepts to energy problems, including solar heating, PVs, desiccant and absorption cooling, and HVAC and air quality. Thermal energy storage and the optimal control of the heating and cooling processes are two of SEL’s main research areas that focus on energy savings in building systems. SEL partners with Solar Energy Applications Laboratory at Colorado State University, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to conduct cooperative research. SEL also received sponsorships from ASHRAE on building test facilities.

The Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) is an educational research group at the University of Wisconsin - Madison researching into three primary areas: electricity systems, transportation & fuels, and sustainability & society. Within the electricity systems area, researchers are working to develop building designs that reduce energy use, incorporate renewable energy technologies, and integrate new energy innovations.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

No public research centers have a focus on energy efficiency.

Last Reviewed: July 2019