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ABSTRACT Air Source Heat Pump’s Transformative Potential Christopher Dymond, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance1 David Lis, Northeast Energy Efficiency Project Steven Nadel, American Council for Energy Efficient Economy Robert Weber, Bonneville Power Administration This paper presents the case that air source heat pumps may be as technologically essential to efficiency, utility grid management and climate goals as photovoltaics, LEDs, and electric vehicles. The current state of the technology belies its potential. Just as PVs, LEDs and battery technologies took decades to achieve important breakthroughs, heat pumps are similarly undergoing some critical evolutionary step-changes in their capabilities. As fully mature technologies, with manufacturing economies of scale, necessary trade skills, standards, policies and demand management control integration, heat pumps can profoundly transform our energy system. This paper presents the basis for this thinking, technology improvements, core barriers, an update on promising efforts by energy efficiency organizations and utilities in North America. The paper presents a call to action on specific additional steps that are needed for strategic alignment of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction driven efforts to remove critical barriers. The authors hope this paper spurs healthy debate and collaboration. Introduction Air-source heat pump (ASHP) technology uses a refrigeration cycle to concentrate and move low grade heat from ambient air. Recent advances in air source heat pump technologies create dramatic new opportunities to reduce cost, improve comfort, and expand ASHP value in utility grid resiliency and greenhouse gas reduction. For this paper, we are distinguishing conventional heat pumps from the emergent new ASHP. This new class of inverter-driven distributed-intelligence-equipped heat pumps is referred to herein as “iASHPs”. What makes this class of heat pumps different than the old “chew toy” of past decades is that they are notably more efficient, can operate well in cold climates, and can be more responsive to utility grid stability needs. It is the authors’ belief that the synthesis of new technologies and standards of practice with full economies of scale will enable iASHPs to harvest ambient energy at a lower life cycle cost than many other resources. Even at a market mature state, iASHPs will not likely be viable in climates where outdoor ambient air temperatures remain below 5F for extended periods of time – where backup heating becomes essential. The US currently uses roughly 11 Quads for residential and commercial space and water heating (EIA 2018). The majority of this energy is provided by either fossil fuel-driven systems or electric resistance heating. As discussed later in this paper, meeting this load with iASHPs would reduce space and water heating energy use by more than 50% and can reduce total US energy consumption by approximately 8% (8.1 Quads). Displacing only the electric resistance 1 While all authors contributed to this paper, not all authors agree with every point made in this paper. ©2018 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings 1-1

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