Could Heat Pumps Be the Next Focus for Energy-Efficiency Gains?

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | November 12, 2019
Heat-pump-installed-on-house-wall
Photo by Green Energy Futures on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

As federal standards for lighting improve, utilities and program administrators are looking for new areas of focus for energy efficiency gains. At a recent Energy Efficiency as a Resource conference sponsored by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, leaders from regional energy efficiency organizations said the answers will include heat pumps for space and water heating, strategic energy management programs, and industrial energy efficiency. High-efficiency heat pumps powered by clean electricity present a compelling and cost-effective opportunity in the residential market, participants said.
 
In the industrial and commercial sectors, strategic energy management programs that give organizations a structure and methodology to identify and implement projects and maintain practices that save energy have much promise.
 
Participants all noted the importance of delivering programs that serve all customers, regardless of income or location. They cited the value of targeting programs to customers with the highest energy burdens, often located in rural areas or underserved communities of color.
 
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