Full Title: Cool Buildings: Bundled Policies to Promote Super-efficient Space Conditioning
Author(s): Marilyn A. Brown, Yu Wang, and Xiaojing Sun
Publisher(s): Georgia Tech, School of Public Policy
Publication Date: 05/2015

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Description (excerpt):

Rising standards of living and global warming are increasing the demand for space cooling in buildings, creating the need for new climate adaptation and carbon mitigation strategies. The approach examined here focuses on a bundle of policies aimed at catalyzing the rapid market penetration of super-efficient heat pumps, within the context of a decarbonizing electric grid. The bundle of catalyzing policies (appliance standards, research and development, and deployment programs) is examined using the National Energy Modeling System to evaluate the likely impacts and the costs and benefits of this strategy in the U.S. We conclude that the policy bundle could significantly improve the efficiency of both space cooling and space heating systems; the significant improvements in space heating are the result of fuel switching from natural gas to electric heating, due to the uptake of heat pumps. The significant electricity savings would in turn induce a drop in electric prices, thereby extending the strategy’s benefits to electricity consumers across the economy. From the private perspective, energy bill savings would exceed investment and policy administration costs by a ratio of slightly more than 2-to- 1. By including the monetized benefits of CO2 and criteria pollution reduction, this benefit/cost ratio increases to 2.5