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Buildings Use 40% of U.S. Energy

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Americans spend $400 billion annually to power homes and commercial buildings. An estimated $80 billion could be saved through energy efficiency.

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NREL's net-zero-energy Research Support Facility employs cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies to consume half the energy of similar buildings. To offset its remaining energy use, the building taps 1.6 megawatts of solar power from its rooftop and nearby parking structures.

NREL Tool Allows for User-Friendly Energy Modeling

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NREL's innovative building modeling tools include OpenStudio, which makes energy modeling "drag-and-drop easy" for design professionals. Such tools allow an integrated, whole-building approach to meeting a building's energy needs, yielding a 50% reduction in building energy use.

OpenStudio also serves as a powerful platform for massive energy efficiency efforts: as one utility is using it to analyze the energy performance of all 20 million buildings in its service area.

Windows for the Future

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NREL is helping to develop smart windows that can go from clear to dark as needed.

NREL's energy dashboards show how buildings are performing.

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In this energy dashboard, the expected performance levels—the gray or white areas—change automatically with weather conditions, time of day, and other factors.

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Learn more about NREL's buildings innovation impacts.