With the costs of heating everything from water to homes increasing at an aggressive pace, Californians are constantly searching for and developing new technologies to save them more than just money. Clean space, heat pump, and solar thermal technologies, for example, can save people more than $1,500 upon installation – not to mention the hundreds of dollars afterward on utility bills year after year. The technology also saves the environment, too.
Meeting the Carbon-Neutrality Goal
According to a recently released Synapse Energy Economics Report, if one-third of California’s buildings made the switch to clean electric space and water heating technology by 2030, heating emissions would drop by 7 million metric tons each year! In other words, it would be like removing the pollutants and emissions of 1.5 million cars annually. The report states that in order to achieve the energy goals for California, high-efficiency electric heat pumps must become mainstream by the year 2030. California has a new goal: to become carbon-neutral by 2045.
In the state of California, about 25% of greenhouse gas emissions can be traced to buildings; more than 50% of those come from energy that is used for heating – both space heating and water heating. At this point, unfortunately, more than 90% of California residents use hot water heaters and furnaces fueled by propane or gas, which is expensive and leaves quite a damaging environmental footprint.
Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal Energy: The Bills
Heat pumps are unique in the way they operate; instead of burning fuel to create heat, they actually move heat. Solar thermal technology uses the sun’s energy to heat – both of these energy technologies reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce harmful emissions. The only way to meet the carbon-neutrality goal is to incorporate this shift in technology usage for heating.
With the passage of Senate Bill 1477, the accessibility of these clean technologies will expand, thanks to a promotion in the market with training and incentives. Assembly Bill 3232 was passed to assess how to reduce emissions by the state’s buildings by 40% by 2030, which would bring those dangerous emissions levels down to readings not seen since before 1990.
The Benefits of Electric Space & Water Heating
In newly constructed buildings, highly efficient electric space and water heating equipment are less expensive than conventional gas means by about $1,500 on average, thanks mostly to the absence of plumbing and gas connection costs. Using time-varying electric rates and maximizing the use of solar panels will help achieve the greatest savings overall.
In existing homes and buildings, the upfront costs for retrofits for clean heating vary widely, depending on many factors such as if electrical upgrades are needed. On average, bills can be anywhere from $300 higher to $800 lower per year; the lower costs are generally attained with some basic energy efficiency upgrades and using solar panels.
Other benefits of electric heating include quieter equipment, increased comfort, and a more stable temperature, in addition to the elimination of inherent safety hazards and indoor pollution associated with natural gas.
The Path to Net Zero Living
There are four areas highlighted in the report for local jurisdictions, the state government, and utilities to start the ball rolling with heating technologies to make this heating technology not only accessible to everyone in California, but also affordable. These four areas are to set targets and develop plans, raise awareness, remove market barriers, and transform the market.
Policymakers, product distributors, building contractors, and consumers must be educated on the benefits and availability of clean electric heating, and the market needs stable investment in order to expand. Financing and utility rate designs, along with incentives for retailers and distributors can help address cost and availability issues. Building codes need revising, and energy upgrades and additional research and support are always needed. These steps are essential for the transition to a safer, cleaner, more affordable, and more efficient way to heat while cleaning the air and making living more affordable.
Heat pumps have been around for decades. However, ultra-comfort-design, quiet, and super-efficient application is a very new concept; and when installed incorrectly, they can result in much higher utility cost and lack of realized comfort.
A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc. Is uniquely qualified for your clean energy conversion due to our experience and attention to proper design and premium craftsmanship. Every project designed will be installed based on load calculations of your home. This is not a cookie cutter solution. It is custom designed for your particular needs. For best results, a clean energy conversion should be combined with building envelope improvements like air sealing and insulation to ensure maximum comfort and efficiency.
A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc. specializes in finely-tuned clean energy comfort and hot water systems that can completely eliminate heating, cooling, and water heating costs when combined with a properly sized solar panel system.