About Building Electrification
Building electrification means replacing gas- or propane-burning appliances for space heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes drying with clean and efficient electric appliances. Benefits include:
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions;
- Improved safety and health inside homes and businesses; and
- Cost savings (especially for new all-electric homes).
Most of the fuel use in residential and commercial buildings is for space heating and water heating, so most of the attention in building electrification is focused on efficient heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. Induction stove tops are also getting high marks for their health, safety, and cooking performance benefits.
Building Electrification in the Southwest
Many utilities and local governments in the Southwest offer incentives for heat pumps and heat pump water heaters to make them more cost-effective for consumers and increase their adoption. Of course, more incentives could move the market faster. In Arizona, heat pumps already account for about 50-60% of residential heating. Efficient heat pumps are almost a slam dunk in areas with mild winters, but cold-climate heat pumps also perform very well in colder areas, delivering about 70-80% of their heating capacity at temperatures as low as 5 degrees F.
SWEEP’s Role in Building Electrification
SWEEP accelerates building electrification by:
- Advancing state policies that would accelerate electrification in buildings;
- Encouraging stronger utility incentive programs for high efficiency heat pumps heat pump water heaters, and other electrification measures;
- Helping cities adopt building codes that promote building electrification technologies and all-electric new buildings;
- Working in tandem with organizations like the Energy Efficient Business Coalition and Beneficial Electrification League of Colorado to help develop training for contractors, boost consumer awareness, and address other barriers to adoption of building electrification technologies.
- "All-Electric New Homes & Buildings in Colorado," a 2020-21 builder survey of costs, technologies, and trends
- “Benefits of All-Electric New Homes,” SWEEP’s two-page summary of the advantages of all-electric new homes.
- "Heat Pumps for Existing Homes in the Southwest," SWEEP's two-page summary of where heat pumps make the most sense.
- “Benefits of Heat Pumps for Homes in the Southwest,” SWEEP’s 2018 study of heat pump benefits in five southwest cities.
- “Technology Brief: Deep Retrofit of Multifamily Housing,“ SWEEP’s description of two successful retrofit projects in Utah involving heat pump installations.
- “Air Source Heat Pump Buying Guide,” Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)
- “Busting Myths about Ductless Mini Splits,” Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA)
- NEEP’s Cold-Climate Air-Source Heat Pump List
- “Installing a Heat Pump Water Heater on Your Own,” (NEEA).
- Heat Pump Water Heater Resource Center (NEEA)
- Heat Pump Water Heater Qualified Products List (NEEA)