My vacation to Costa Rica last week was a brilliant reminder of two things. One, Costa Rica is very hot, even in February. And two, air source heat pumps are incredibly effective at what they’re designed to do. Truly, the difference between being indoors versus outdoors during the Costa Rican dry season was night and day. The Airbnb my partner and I rented in Tamarindo, a little beach town on the northwestern coast, was equipped with two state-of-the-art heat pump units that kept us comfortable all hours of the day.
In this issue of Building Decarb Central, we look at some of the critical discussions and findings from NEEP’s recent 2019 Air Source Heat Pump Market Transformation Workshop in Woburn, Massachusetts. The two-day event drew about 150 people from all over the U.S. and Canada who focused on building the market to provide low-carbon space heating for buildings.
There is a broad array of heating and cooling system types available in the market that can effectively either decarbonize or electrify (with an increasingly decarbonized grid) building space heating. Some of the newer ones, at least for the U.S. market, were discussed at the NEEP air source heat pump workshop.
Natural gas creates carbon dioxide when we burn it to heat buildings and water. But it also leaks methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere when it does not make it all the way to our furnaces and water heaters. Older natural gas lines are more likely to leak. Sometimes the leaks get to explosive levels and make the evening news, but on a regular basis there are smaller leaks that emit methane into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.
Do you remember where you were on June 2, 2014?
Some of you may have been in Newport, Rhode Island at NEEP’s first in-person Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) Market Transformation Workshop: Air Source Heat Pump Workshop – Warming Up the Market. Months before the workshop, NEEP had published a market transformation strategies report that had established a roadmap for regional stakeholder collaboration towards market development of ASHPs.
What are the potential benefits of building decarb to low-income households?