Author: DOE                 Published:  4/6/2020     

U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $4.5 million in funding for training programs that target professionals who interact with distributed energy resources, including solar energy systems, storage systems, “smart” building technologies, and alternative-fuel vehicles. These professionals include those that lead the nation’s emergency response and resilience planning, like firefighters, first responders, and safety officials.

“These professionals are at the frontlines of a rapidly changing energy system,” said Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Assistant Secretary Daniel R Simmons. “It’s our job to ensure that they can easily understand and manage these systems so that they can focus on keeping America safe.”

There are more than 115 million homes and 5.5 million commercial buildings across the U.S. and the market for smart and connected devices in buildings is growing 20% annually. Electric vehicles, along with hybrid electric vehicles will account for 7.5% of new light vehicle sales by 2025. Demand for solar and storage systems is also growing rapidly.

While these technologies are spreading across the country, the professionals who are integrating these technologies into their community’s broader planning, safety, and resilience efforts often lack access to the most up-to-date training and information. This need can hinder efforts to streamline permitting, reduce costs, and increase consumer confidence in these technologies.

The Educational Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments (EMPOWERED) funding program is a collaborative effort across EERE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, the Vehicle Technologies Office, and the Building Technologies Office. DOE expects to fund 2-4 awards of about $1-2.25 million each.

Projects in this funding opportunity will focus on developing, testing, and disseminating educational materials. In addition to developing new education materials, projects will also focus on working with existing training organizations in each of the targeted professional groups, to ensure that the right materials get to the right people in an effective way.

Mandatory concept papers are due on April 30. Register to participate in an informational webinar on April 16.

Learn more about the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.