About 90% of California’s furnaces and water heaters currently run on natural gas or propane, and these are significant sources of carbon emissions.
Most of these systems will have to be converted to high-efficiency heat pumps and solar thermal heating for the state to meet its ambitious decarbonized buildings goal. These technologies will have to be supported with more energy efficiency measures and batteries to store solar energy.
Renewable electricity won’t be enough to meet 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals. Twenty-five percent of total emissions in California are from homes and buildings.
Two new programs aimed at reducing emissions from buildings will launch this year: Building Initiative for Low Emissions Development (BUILD), and Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH). The programs will test different approaches to decarbonizing buildings. The programs will receive $200 million over four years from natural gas utility carbon allowance proceeds derived from the state’s cap and trade program.