Tuesday 3 November 2020

Heating electrification could ‘cut commercial buildings’ emissions by 44%’

Heating electrification could ‘cut commercial buildings’ emissions by 44%’

The replacement of gas-burning heating systems with electrified heat pumps could reduce commercial buildings' total greenhouse gas emissions by 44%.

That's according to a new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), which suggests almost 27% of commercial floor space heated with fossil fuel systems can be electrified today with a simple payback of less than ten years.

Analysts, who examined converting heat systems, furnaces, boilers, and space heaters for a range of buildings across all US regions, estimate if policymakers offered a package of investments, incentives, and carbon pricing policies, the proportion of commercial building space that could be electrified would increase to 60%.

According to the report, the electrification of heating could also reduce the site's total energy use by about 37%.

The analysis also suggests the best paybacks are more likely to be located in the Southern US and the Pacific region where space-heating needs are not high and in building types that have often medium to high operating hours such as health care, food, retail and offices.

Steven Nadel, ACEEE Executive Director and Co-Author of the report, said: "Heat pumps use less energy and reduce building operating costs, but the upgrade is often a tough sell for building owners when payback periods are long.

"Policymakers are going to need to make major investments in incentivising the technology to get it adopted widely."

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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