2019 Spotlight: Innovation required
Alongside other 2019 Annual Report spotlights, this post describes an important area of CEE's work.
Led by CEE, the Minnesota Energy Efficiency Potential Study documented the state’s current efforts related to energy efficiency, while considering the best opportunities to reach beyond the benefits of LED lighting to improve our future impact.
The study revealed that one under-tapped area for innovation is electric space heating. Researchers identified cold-climate air source heat pumps as a technology expected to provide 25% of total residential electrical savings in the state in the coming decade — serving as an essential component to meet Minnesota’s 1.5% conservation goal.
In 2019, CEE started a new research project to focus on pivotal questions and modifications needed for the technology’s adoption in apartments, condos, and other multifamily buildings.
We already know that cold-climate air source heat pumps give single-family homes a cost-effective and reliable option for heating, beyond delivered fuel. Although heat pumps also offer solutions for multifamily buildings to improve space heating affordability and comfort, most research and programs previously have been designed to characterize and impact the single-family market.
CEE has teamed up with Minnesota utilities to accelerate the adoption of cold-climate air source heat pumps. Building on our body of research, CEE is launching the new Minnesota Air Source Heat Pump Collaborative in 2020, offering an array tools and resources to assist HVAC installers and utility staff as demand increases for air source heat pump technology.
We aim to ensure that heat pumps become the first choice for contractors and homeowners when replacing electric and delivered-fuel heating systems or air conditioners by 2030, with every installed system optimized to provide heating as well as cooling.
In partnership with utilities, installers, manufacturers, and distributors, CEE is working hard to increase statewide adoption of cold-climate air source heat pumps to benefit homeowners and maximize cost-effective energy savings.
Minnesota Air Source Heat Pumps Collaborative
Air-source heat pumps research
Minnesota Energy Efficiency Potential Study, 2018