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3.1. Decarbonize building heating and cooling, and water heating, by replacing furnaces and hot water...

Electric heat pumps are inherently very efficient systems because they move heat rather than generating heat. Just like a fridge, these systems use refrigerants that absorb heat in one location and deliver it in another through the use of condensers. Modern heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) are capable of generating all of the hot water needs of a residential home much more efficiently than conventional water heaters.

Because they are proven, commercially available, and highly efficient, electric heat pumps are a critical part of our community’s path to ‘80by50’. This is especially true in the next decade, since we need to start now to rapidly scale existing technology to make significant emissions reductions by 2030. Installing an electric heat pump is a step that can be taken right now to transition a building off of fossil fuels.

In the longer term, other non-fossil fuel options are expected to play an important role in our energy transition. This includes the potential to use a mix of renewable natural gas and green hydrogen to fuel some equipment that currently runs on natural gas, or to power energy-intensive activities like industrial operations.