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February 22, 2022

Sacramento is making headlines, as new energy codes from the California Energy Commission (CEC) reveal a commitment to all-electric homes and fewer fossil fuels. And according to the CEC, the star of the show when it comes to keeping California homes comfortable? Heat pumps!

Here is what you need to know about the future of energy codes in the East Bay area, and how you can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping your home comfortable, efficient, and compliant. 

Home Electrification Energy Codes

The California energy efficiency standards are updated once every three years, and the latest updates have been approved by the CEC. Once the new standards are approved by the California Building Standards Commission, they will go into effect as of Jan. 1, 2023, making it the first building code to strongly incentivize all-electric heating, cooling, and water heating in new construction and renovation projects. The code is estimated to provide over $1 billion in consumer benefits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million metric tons over the next three decades.

While there are many measures incentivized in the new codes, like heat pump water heaters, circuit panel upgrades, and ventilation upgrades, the new codes adopt heat pumps as the performance standard for space heating and cooling. 

Why Heat Pumps?

So why is it that the state authority on energy is investing in heat pumps as the baseline standard for home comfort? Because the CEC knows that heat pumps are extremely energy efficient. Heat pumps run exclusively on electricity, and when used correctly, consume much less energy than other heating and cooling systems. 

If our state is going to reach its energy goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% less than 1990 levels by 2050, we will need to address the energy used to keep our buildings comfortable. Phasing out appliances that utilize fossil fuels like natural gas and propane is a large portion of this fight against climate change, which means switching to all-electric home comfort. 

Heat pumps also provide a number of benefits outside of their exceptional efficiency:

  • Improved indoor air quality 
  • Versatility (both heating and cooling in one)
  • Quiet operation
  • Targeted comfort, right where you need it

How Does a Heat Pump Differ from a Gas Furnace?

For homeowners that already utilize a gas furnace that is connected to central ductwork, a ducted heat pump serves as an all-electric, energy-efficient replacement. The team at Hassler can remove the old unit, and install a heat pump that will provide the same warm air you need in the cooler months, only it will eliminate the need for burning natural gas when it comes to heating your home — plus it can switch to cooling mode and provide energy efficient air conditioning in the summer! 

Ductless mini-split heat pumps operate using the same technology but are stand-alone heating and cooling units that can be installed into any room that needs the extra heating and cooling power. 

Getting Ready for an All-Electric Home in CA

What does this mean for your home here in Contra Costa, Alameda, or Marin county? If you are looking to replace your air conditioner, furnace, or water heater within the next year, you should get in touch with Hassler Heating & AC about heat pump installation and developing your own path toward an all-electric home. Our HVAC experts can assist you with your immediate heating and cooling needs, like installing a heat pump as a replacement for your furnace or air conditioner, and then discuss the best way to go about future electrification upgrades like EV charging and even preparing for solar. 

Is your heating and cooling system on its last leg? Replace it with a heat pump system, and save for years to come. Ask Hassler about heat pump installation near you—call (510) 296-3231 or get in touch here.

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