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Expanding the Market for Renewable Thermal Technologies

Announcing the recipients of the RTA Seed Innovation Grant

House with solar

The Renewable Thermal Alliance (RTA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 RTA Seed Innovation Grant. By providing $15,000 to each of the four winners, the grant will support novel approaches to supporting low-carbon heating and cooling markets and technologies.

“The breadth and quality of this year’s applicants are exemplars of the innovations needed to catalyze a huge and largely untapped market,” said Stuart DeCew, Executive Director at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, which manages the grant. “We need to refine the technology, make it easier on the customer to make an informed choice, demonstrate and model a compelling business case and ensure that everyone, regardless of socioeconomic level, can invest and participate in the clean energy economy.”

Though heating and cooling in the U.S. accounted respectively for 65 percent and 24 percent of energy delivered to residential and commercial customers in 2015, the sector remains dominated by the use of fossil fuels. Renewable thermal technologies (RTTs) offer more sustainable alternatives. The winners of this year’s grant, each in their own way, promise to help expand the market for RTTs, which remains hobbled by unfavorable economics, low public awareness, lack of affordable financing, and an immature industry.

Recipients of the RTA Seed Innovation Grant include:

  1. The expansion of a carbon cost calculator that will readily provide residential and business owners the cost savings and reduced greenhouse gas impacts associated with the installation of renewable heating and cooling systems. Primary applicant: Clean Energy States Alliance.
  2. A mobile app for homeowners that provides a user-friendly platform for calculating a home energy rating and provides recommended replacement options, available rebates, and price quotes from qualified renewable thermal technology installers. Primary applicant: Greenbanc.
  3. A design for a high-efficiency, multi-source heat pump system that would provide a lower-cost option for residential heating and cooling. Primary applicant: North Dakota State University.
  4. A multi-disciplinary ambassador program to engage affordable housing developers, local leadership, climate and public health stakeholders in an initiative to demonstrate the value of renewable thermal technologies in affordable residential buildings and ensure the financial and environmental benefits of RTTs to flow to low-income communities.  Primary applicant: Texas Energy Policy Research Institute.

Please join us on April 16, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. ET as we present the winners of this year’s RTA Seed Innovation Grant. You will also be able to view the event online (advance registration required).

Awarded every fall, the RTA Seed Innovation Grant was created with the support of NYSERDA and Connecticut Green Bank; it is managed by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment to support innovations that build market platforms for low carbon heating and cooling technologies. Visit the homepage for more information, or contact Nikki Springer: nikki.springer@yale.edu.