U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced awards totaling more than $76 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support advanced energy-efficient building-technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial-building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy auditors.

The 58 projects selected will help make the nation's buildings more energy efficient and cost-effective. They also will support programs to train workers to service and operate new and existing buildings, develop and deploy best practices resulting in fewer greenhouse-gas emissions, and establish a green workforce with technical expertise to reduce energy costs for consumers.

"These projects will help the United States lead the world in advancing energy-efficient technologies," Secretary Chu said. "Energy-efficient commercial buildings will help our country cut its carbon emissions and energy costs, while the training programs will upgrade the skills of the current workforce and attract the next generation to careers in the emerging clean-energy economy."

The nation's 114 million households and more than 74 million sq ft of commercial floor space account for approximately 40 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption, as well as 39 percent of carbon dioxide, 18 percent of nitrogen oxides, and 55 percent of sulfur-dioxide emissions. These projects will help lower the energy demands and emissions of commercial buildings and promote a specialized, energy-efficient buildings workforce.

For a full list of selected projects, visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Website.