The Harvest Thermal home energy system is best in class technology to meet new building codes recently adopted by the California Energy Commission (CEC). Designed to achieve California’s ambitious target of 40% reduction in greenhouse gases from buildings by 2030, the standards encourage the installation of all-electric heat pumps over gas appliances in new construction throughout the state.
The shift to all-electric heat pumps for home heating and hot water is a key focus of the 2022 codes, just as requiring rooftop solar for new home construction was key for the 2019 codes. For years the CEC has ratcheted up energy efficiency standards for buildings – think insulation, windows and lighting. Since typical heat pumps are 300% efficient or more (meaning they can transfer 3x more energy than they consume), it makes sense that the agency would promote heat pumps in this round. And it recognizes that they have become cost competitive with gas furnaces in recent years. Plus, an efficient heat pump can save 75% of carbon over its life compared with the most efficient gas furnace.
The Harvest Thermal system uniquely uses a single, ultra-efficient heat pump for both space heating and hot water, giving it an advantage over standard heat pump systems under the new codes. As our recent pilots have shown, the Harvest Thermal system reduces carbon emissions on average by 90% compared with gas and 50% over a standard heat pump system.
The new codes are performance-based and technology-neutral. Rather than an outright ban on gas, they establish a regime of compliance credits and penalties based on energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Home builders installing gas combustion furnaces and hot water tanks will be required to offset those systems’ higher energy use and greenhouse gases with greater efficiency measures such as better windows and more insulation. Install a heat pump for heating OR hot water and the builder won’t have to make any additional efficiency upgrades compared with current codes. And should both hot water and heating be driven by heat pumps - or a single heat pump in the case of Harvest Thermal - the builder will receive credits which will save them on construction costs by avoiding more costly efficiency measures.
When we began to build this company we said our mission was to revolutionize home heating and hot water. And now the world is catching up to our vision. Interest spiked in Harvest Thermal as cities and counties in California adopted their own gas restrictions – we currently have a list of 300 potential retrofit customers. With the adoption of state-wide building codes, our market opportunity just got a whole lot bigger.
The new standard will go before the California Buildings Standards Commission in December and, if approved, will go into effect January 1, 2023. We’re ready! Will you join us?