Gas Heat Pumps are the Future of Temperature Control
Electrical outages are an unfortunate fact of life, with nearly all electric utility customers experiencing an average of one outage per year. Overstrained electrical grids come at a cost, as high demand can lead to rolling blackouts. When those blackouts occur during major heatwaves, or during winter storms, that cost can be lethal, especially for the elderly and those with health conditions.
In comparison, only one customer in 800 experiences an unplanned gas outage each year – close to one-tenth of one percent the rate of electrical outages. During extreme winter weather, this reliability is lifesaving. When electric customers lose power, the story is very different for natural gas customers. Even when their electricity is out, most natural gas customers can still stay warm, have access to hot water, and continue to cook. But what about during the summer? Natural gas typically peaks in the winter, but advances in technology may help lower the odds of blackouts by decreasing demands on the electrical grid, ultimately helping to keep all customers safe and comfortable.
High-efficiency natural gas heat pumps can offer some key advantages over other technologies.
Good for heating… and cooling
Natural gas heat pumps can be useful for both heating and cooling. Whether it’s 10 degrees outside or 110 degrees, if you have a gas heat pump, you can rest easy knowing your home will be comfortable. These systems harness the reliability of the natural gas distribution system. The incredible reliability of natural gas, and the annual unplanned outage rate of one in 800 means that heat waves and cold snaps can pose less of a threat to your ability to keep your home safe and comfortable.
Good for electric grid demand
High-efficiency gas heat pumps aren’t just good for the people who own them. They also benefit everyone who uses the electrical grid. Every home or business with a gas heat pump is one that isn’t drawing large amounts of electricity from the grid to power heaters or air conditioning systems. Equipping homes with gas heat pumps can help lower the total demand on the grid and drive down spikes in demand created by extreme temperatures, in turn increasing the reliability of the electrical grid, and benefiting even those who don’t yet have gas heat pumps. By contrast, proposed electrification efforts would increase demands on the overstressed grid, potentially leading to more blackouts, higher costs and less reliability if efforts to build out the grid and to increase the supply of electricity struggle to keep pace.
Good for homeowners
Advanced gas heat pumps offer excellent cost advantages over both electric and traditional alternatives. Households that use natural gas for heating, cooking and clothes drying currently save an average of $1,041 per year compared to homes using electricity for these applications. Adding cooling through gas heat pumps, one of the major contributors to electrical bills, to that list could help customers save even more money. Finally, the greater efficiency with gas heat pumps for heating could drive costs even lower, putting more money in your pocket and helping working families save more. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that natural gas will likely stay between one-half and one-third the cost of other fuels through 2050, making a gas heat pump a fantastic way to keep your costs low.
Good for the environment
Finally, gas heat pumps have a variety of environmental benefits. Gas heat pumps don’t use ozone-depleting refrigerants and are therefore better for the ozone layer. They are extremely efficient, with current models operating at efficiency rates as high as 140 percent, requiring less energy to do the same amount of work and lowering household emissions immediately. Finally, gas heat pumps work with carbon-neutral renewable natural gas, a benefit that will help our nation as we work towards achieving our energy and environmental goals. Learn more about gas heat pumps here.