Reaching the goals of the Massachusetts clean energy and climate bill passed this summer and Boston’s Carbon Free Boston plan will require a massive shift from heating our homes with gas and oil to electric heat pumps that do both heating and cooling.
A heat pump takes heat from outside and moves it into your home in the winter and takes heat from inside in hot weather and moves it outside.
Unlike furnaces, heat pumps themselves don’t generate carbon dioxide, though a utility’s method of producing the electricity used to power them (and other household devices) may well involve burning fossil fuels. However, since heat pumps are extremely efficient, they are considered an important step in the overall reduction of greenhouse gases.
But we aren’t installing enough of them.