ARPA-E Archived Funding Opportunities

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  DE-FOA-0001737 SAVING ENERGY NATIONWIDE IN STRUCTURES WITH OCCUPANCY RECOGNITION (SENSOR) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) 3/17/2017 05:00 PM ET 8/21/2017 05:00 PM ET


This program aims to dramatically reduce the amount of energy used for heating and cooling residential buildings (by 30%) via user-transparent sensor systems that accurately sense human presence (not merely motion). This program also aims to reduce energy usage in commercial buildings (also by 30%) by enabling ventilation control based on sensor systems that can accurately count the number of humans in a pre-determined zone. If these sensing technologies can be widely deployed with disruptively low price targets and failure rates, a significantly lower usage of energy will result without impact to comfort of the occupants of the space. Heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) reduction is only one way energy can be saved; such human presence sensing and people counting will enable drastic improvements in the way buildings communicate with and respond to their occupants.

The accuracy, reliability, and cost requirements to deliver such substantial energy savings are far beyond the limits of sensor systems available today. However, ARPA-E believes that by building on recent trends in improved performance and reduced cost in low-power consumer electronics and wireless communication technologies, it is possible to achieve the required performance levels through a focused push in the SENSOR program. Supporting systems currently exist (i.e., thermostats/controls, variable air volume systems, etc.) that could utilize data from such sensor systems to achieve the program’s energy reduction targets today, with only slight modifications. In order to ensure impact for the new sensor systems, significant adoption barriers must be identified and clearly understood, technical paths to overcome these barriers must be defined, and real-world performance of these technical solutions validated.


  • SENSOR FOA - Full Application (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 03:33 PM ET)

Previous Versions

  • SENSOR FOA - Concept Paper (Last Updated: 1/18/2017 03:05 PM ET)

Application Forms and Templates

The following forms and templates may be used as part of the application submission. Note that these forms and templates do not necessarily constitute all the documents required for a complete application. Please refer to the 'Application and Submission Information' of the published announcement to learn more about the required application content requirements.

Concept Paper

  • SENSOR FOA - Concept Paper Template (Last Updated: 1/18/2017 02:41 PM ET)

Full Application

  • SENSOR - Technical Volume Template (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:13 PM ET)
  • SF-424 (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:15 PM ET)
  • Budget Justification/ SF-424A Workbook (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:15 PM ET)
  • Budget Justification/ SF-424A Workbook Guidance (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:16 PM ET)
  • Business Assurances & Disclosures Form - Template (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:17 PM ET)
  • Business Assurances & Disclosures Form - Sample (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:18 PM ET)
  • Summary Slide Template (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:19 PM ET)
  • Summary for Public Release Template (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:20 PM ET)
  • Replies to Reviewer Comments Template (Last Updated: 7/7/2017 04:21 PM ET)

Contact Information

    Please contact the email address above for questions regarding ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.
    Please contact the email address above for questions regarding Funding Opportunity Announcements. ARPA-E will post responses on a weekly basis to any questions that are received. ARPA-E may re-phrase questions or consolidate similar questions for administrative purposes.

Submission Deadlines

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 3/17/2017 5:00 PM ET
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 8/21/2017 5:00 PM ET
  • View Full Application Reviewer Comments Period: 10/9/2017 5:00 PM ET – 10/12/2017 5:00 PM ET