This post details our approach to measuring the performance of the two heat pumps in our two-family home in the current heating season.
Recently, many have celebrated Maine’s achievement of 100,000 heat pumps installed. It’s really a good-news/bad-news story.
We cannot assume that we are materially reducing greenhouse gas emissions just by putting heat pumps into homes at scale. Additional metrics are necessary to assure that we are benefitting the climate. Our climate report card should include those metrics.
I hope that the Climate Chief’s call for an economic analysis leads to a thorough review of the resources required to achieve our goals for decarbonization of existing buildings.
In existing homes, we are likely to have to get most of our carbon reductions by decarbonizing heating systems as opposed to improving building envelopes.
Non-envelope improvements — electrification, burner efficiency, behavior changes — account for the majority of the observed decline in residential fossil energy use intensity before 2009.