Renewable heating and cooling improves climate resiliency and equity.
Improves safety. In 30% of low-income homes in Denver today, gas equipment fails carbon monoxide tests, compared to less than 5% of market rate homes.
Lowers exposure to indoor air pollutants. Residents of homes with gas appliances have nearly three times the rate of asthma compared to homes with electric appliances.
We must start now. Families are being exposed to harmful gas on a daily basis. Switching to electric eliminates this concern. Every year of delay in moving to heat pumps when an air conditioning (A/C) or furnace system needs replacing adds decades to achieving a complete conversion to all-electric equipment.
Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is released when we use gas and has an 80 times greater impact on climate change than carbon dioxide emissions. A new report from the UN states that reducing methane emissions now will result in noticeable climate benefits in the next 10 years.
Heat Pumps are cost-effective, reliable, proven technology that provide better outcomes for the same cost.
How heat pumps work – heat pumps work by moving heat, not creating it, and are able to achieve efficiencies of 200-300% even in Denver’s winter climate. 100% efficiency is based on a source that creates heat. To learn more about how a heat pump works, check out This Old House video.
This transition is cost effective today for many homes and buildings.
Heat pumps provide reliable heat.
Denver’s electric system can shift to renewable electricity without significant infrastructure build-out.
The winter peaking profile is not likely to happen until more than 50% of all space and water heating are electrified. Local distribution upgrades may be triggered sooner. For more details on our grid analysis of Denver, read the Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan.
Most homes in Denver today use a gas-fired water heater and a gas-fired furnace. Residents looking to electrify their home, improve indoor air quality, and lower their carbon footprint have a number of options.
Choosing the best technology to electrify your building depends on the system currently in place. For detailed findings by system type, visit the Energize Denver Renewable Heating and Cooling Plan. The plan details partial and full electrification options for commercial furnaces, boilers, PTACs, and rooftop units, including extensive economic analyses around both cost of conversion and operating cost impacts.
Xcel Energy is offering commercial electrification incentives through its custom program. To learn more, reach out to your account executive or the appropriate business center.
Multiple studies (RMI, Group14) have found that building all-electric homes and buildings in Denver is cheaper from a first-cost standpoint compared to homes and commercial buildings that are mixed fuel and use gas for heating. A majority of the cost savings come from the avoided costs of not having to run gas to the building and throughout the building. Operating costs are similar or lower in all-electric new buildings.
Denver has a goal for all new buildings and homes to achieve net-zero energy by 2030. Denver defines “Net Zero Energy (NZE)” as a new building or home that is:
Denver’s detailed NZE goals are:
To read more about our initiatives for new buildings, go to the Net Zero New Buildings and Homes page.
The transition to renewable heating and cooling will cost-effectively bring many benefits to Denverites by providing air conditioning as temperatures rise, reducing children’s exposure to carbon monoxide and rapidly mitigating climate change by reducing methane emissions.