Is the Northeast Ready for Residential Electrification?

Winter is coming…

Christie Amero, a senior associate on the Cadmus’ DER team, presented at the 2022 ACEEE Summer Study on residential electrification in the northeast.

Achieving decarbonization goals requires significant reduction or elimination of fossil fuel heating systems in buildings, and strategic heating electrification has been identified as a primary pathway for decarbonizing residential buildings. To date, most market development programs have focused on installations of supplemental cold climate air source heat pumps (ccASHP), which typically serve less than 70% of a home’s total heating load. However, achieving decarbonization targets in the Northeast will require widespread deployment of wholehome or primary with backup ccASHPs; that is, systems that serve 70% or more of the load. To design successful residential electrification programs, policymakers need to assess ccASHP customer satisfaction, technical performance, and electric grid impacts to ensure that customer experience and in-field performance achieve expected performance standards and determine the scale of necessary grid infrastructure upgrades.

In collaboration with E4TheFuture, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), New York State Energy Research & Development (NYSERDA), and U.S. Department of Energy, the Cadmus team conducted the Residential ccASHP Building Electrification Study. Key research included assessing customer satisfaction and collecting and analyzing detailed heating and cooling season metered data to compare utilization, delivered heating capacity, performance, and grid impacts of ccASHP systems. The team metered outdoor, supply, and return air temperatures and total system, supply fan, and backup electric resistance power for 73 ccASHP systems in 43 homes, calculating an average overall heating season performance of 2.34 sCOP.

This paper explains the data collection and analysis methodology, describes study findings on five key objectives, and presents conclusions and program recommendations to address winter peak demand impacts and encourage greater adoption of whole-home ccASHPs

Click here to read the paper.

Authors: Christie Amero, Conner Geery, Nathan Hinkle, and Neil Veilleux