Lifecycle GHG Impacts of C&I Heat Pump Applications in Vermont

By supplanting on-site fossil fuel heat with an electric appliance like a heat pump, heating electrification initiatives can improve the cost-effectiveness of a heating system and decrease the local carbon intensity of heating across a utility service area. However, to substantiate claims about greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, it is necessary to extend the system boundaries of electrification and energy efficiency initiatives beyond merely on-site operational efficiency. GHG impacts tend to lie in unexpected places, and they are always wider than the site itself. This study provides a method for capturing broader GHG impacts of energy efficiency projects in C&I buildings that supplement existing fossil fuel heating sources with heat pumps. The study has had two aims: (1) to provide insight into the GHG impacts of a common heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) project in a cold climate like Vermont's, and (2) to work through a GHG accounting method for electrification and energy efficiency work.

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