The report, Why cooling is key: How to decarbonize buildings with one weird trick, analyzes data on the shipments of heating and cooling technology in five states, and finds converting central AC unit sales to heat pumps can dramatically accelerate the decarbonization of homes while boosting grid resilience, lowering technology and installations costs, and improving the health and safety of the nation’s housing stock, if policymakers act quickly to harness this market.
New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) mandates 100 percent zero-emissions electricity by 2040 and economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. That means that billions of square feet of New York buildings have 28 years to wean off the fossil fuel combustion and fossil-fueled steam that heat the majority of the building stock today. For many buildings, that translates to roughly one asset replacement cycle, and buildings that simply replace today’s fossil fuel equipment with newer versions of the same will not be in compliance with Climate Act mandates before the equipment reaches the end of its lifetime. [...]