A recent report coauthored by Brattle consultants and prepared for the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Office provides a comprehensive plan for the national adoption of grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs), which combine energy efficiency and demand flexibility with smart technologies to remake buildings into clean, flexible, and affordable energy resources. The report details the technology attributes of GEBs, explores how they add value to the power system, and includes recommendations for addressing the top barriers to GEB adoption and deployment.

The report, A National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings, finds that, over the next two decades, GEBs could deliver between $100 and $200 billion in savings to the US power system and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80 million tons per year by 2030, or 6% of total power sector CO2 emissions. GEBs could save more than the annual emissions of 50 medium-sized coal plants, or 17 million cars.

Outfitted with smart technologies, GEBs are energy-efficient buildings characterized by the active use of distributed energy resources (DERs) to optimize energy use for grid services, occupant needs and preferences, and cost reductions in a continuous and integrated way. In doing so, GEBs can play a key role in promoting greater affordability, resilience, environmental performance, and reliability, according to the report.

The report provides 14 recommendations for addressing the top barriers facing GEB adoption and deployment. The report notes that these recommendations come with particular urgency given the anticipated growth in the adoption of DERs, such as electric vehicles, solar PV, and energy storage.

The report was coauthored by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, The Brattle Group, Energy Solutions, and the Wedgemere Group. The Brattle team included Principals Ryan Hledik and Ahmad Faruqui, Associates Long Lam and Stephanie Ross, and former Senior Research Analyst Jesse Cohen.

Prepared for the US Department of Energy and the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Building Technologies Office

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