It's encouraging to see that Washington is taking steps, still kind of small but steps anyway, to fund research on how to increase efficiency in our houses. The home building industry is already spending money on it and now the federal government is joining in. The two-prong approach will add more muscle to the effort and ultimately benefit everyone. The U.S. Department of Energy just announced that it'll have up to $40 million available to support research, development and deployment of technologies that will eventually cut new home energy consumption by 30-90%.
What exactly is the research zeroing in on? The goal is pretty clear from what I gather. It aims to bring new energy efficient products to the real estate market, enhance builder productivity, decrease construction time, come up with new and creative home designs and curtail waste. That's a comprehensive list of processes in the building of a home and if the program can achieve half of its goals, we're making solid progress. The research program is supposed to engage architects, building scientists, builders, community planners, mortgage lenders, equipment manufacturers, engineers, material suppliers, realtors and contractor trades. I'd say that's just about everybody.
The initiative is a component of the Building America project, a public-private partnership, that is seeking to make green-minded changes to the home building industry. Its objective is to facilitate by 2020 the production of net Zero Energy Homes which means that a home would annually generate as much energy as it uses. That would be novel. And good for the planet. If my tax dollar goes to support research like this, I'm all for it.