Natural Gas Alternatives - Heat Pumps
The ConEdison natural gas moratorium, which began in Westchester has now been expanded to include Brooklyn and Queens. It is restricting residents and business owners from establishing new gas connections due to constraints on the grid. In response to the moratorium, end users are searching for (and being incentivized to use) alternative technologies that reduce their dependence on natural gas. One such technology is the heat pump.
Heat pumps are popular alternatives to traditional gas-fired appliances for heating, cooling, humidity control needs in buildings and residential properties. NYSERDA is incentivizing heat pumps to reduce the need for natural gas in specific areas of NY State as part of their Clean Energy Action Plan.
Large commercial buildings can use electric-powered heat pumps to heat and cool spaces. They burn lesser amounts of fossil fuels and contribute less to air pollution, as compared to traditional technology, such as furnaces and air conditioners. The use of cleaner energy systems can reduce the utility spend of a facility by up to 50%. Gas-fired appliances rely on the burning of nonrenewable resources to generate power, whereas heat pumps use electricity.
Instead of generating heat, heat pumps collect energy from water, air, and the ground. Much like refrigeration technology, the heat pump has a condenser unit located outside the building, and an indoor unit working in tandem. What sets heat pumps apart from a furnace or traditional air conditioner is that heat pumps can reverse operations – to both heat and cool a facility. In the summer, an air-source heat pump will move heat from inside a space to the outdoors, and in the winter the heat pump will bring heat from the outside into a space. Heat pumps are reliable in both cold and warm climates.
Heating and cooling buildings is more efficient with heat pumps because these units regulate heating outputs based on the needs of the building. This is a more sustainable option over gas-fired systems which burn fuel constantly, resulting in an abundance of wasted energy. A gas furnace typically runs in short intervals of high power while electric pumps can maintain a temperature of your choice without outputting excess energy.
It is critical for public health that we move away from traditional, fossil-fuel based technologies. Instead, we should be deploying cleaner energy systems – such as heat pumps – that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously decreasing the strain on the grid.
If New York is unable to reduce overall demand for natural gas, it will be necessary to build more pipelines in the region. Construction of these pipeline can be disruptive to sensitive land areas and ecosystems, as well low-income and marginal communities. Lucky for New York, there are a number of financial incentives available from the utilities and NYSERDA, to help end users reduce their dependence on natural gas. Gotham 360 can help you identify the incentive programs that best fit your needs.