U of M sharing $30M grant aimed at home conservation researchby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The University of Minnesota is getting a new federal grant aimed at home energy conservation exceeding 10 to 20 percent in savings.
University of Minnesota researchers learned this week they'll share $30 million in federal dollars with researchers elsewhere to explore energy conservation in existing homes. The U's Pat Huelman said energy conservation -- from simple measures such as new windows, furnaces and attic insulation -- is well known.
"If we can come in and five years down the road, ten years down the road, have clear what we call 'whole house packages' that can be implemented into existing homes that can achieve even that 30 percent range, that's a sizable benefit for our energy future of our country," Huelman said.
Huelman said the energy conservation measures need to be done in the right sequence to avoid problems. He said insulating your attic is an example of getting the sequence of steps in the correct order.
"That impacts the air tightness of the building and that might save energy," Huelman said. "But it might have implications for ventilation rates and air exchange rates or indoor air quality."
Huelman said home construction, operation and maintenance use about one-fourth of our nation's total energy consumption.
The partnership led by University of Minnesota researchers is one of fifteen projects nationwide sharing the grant over the next 18 months. It's part of the U. S. Energy Department's "Building America" program.