​Description

Heating and cooling account for a significant portion of energy use in residential and commercial buildings. New HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems have become much more efficient in recent years, but many home and building owners delay the replacement of HVAC equipment by continuing to repair and maintain aging and outdated HVAC equipment, leaving many inefficient units in homes and buildings.  Co-op members who replace these inefficient systems can achieve substantial cost savings over the life of the unit.  However, delaying replacement of HVAC contributes to the high cumulative cost of repairs, perpetuates inefficient and costly heating and cooling, decreases comfort, and leaves members susceptible to HVAC failures during inconvenient times, such as during extreme weather events, with potentially substantial impacts on members’ quality of life.  This paper outlines the reasons why co-ops may want to encourage HVAC early replacement, provides an overview of current utility rebate programs that incentivize early replacement of electric HVAC units, and offers suggested next steps for co-ops to promote early replacement to members, including consumer education, contractor engagement, and incentive programs.

Value to Electric Cooperatives

Co-ops and other utilities are under increasing pressure to find new sources of energy savings.  Inefficient HVAC systems contribute significantly to peak demand, putting cost pressure on co-ops and their members. Co-ops should encourage the early replacement of HVAC units because of the potential benefits to members and to the co-op, which include energy savings, carbon reductions, peak load reduction, and increased member satisfaction.  Encouragement can take the form of consumer engagement, working with motivated contractors, or incentive programs.

Audience

Engineering, Member Services, Customer Services, Key Accounts

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