Increasing Sustainability of Multifamily Buildings with Heat Pump Water Heaters

Report / November 18, 2021 / Building Innovation

From four-unit townhomes to large complexes, multifamily buildings use a significant amount of energy to provide hot water to their occupants. Much of that hot water is provided by natural gas and other fossil fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gases (GHGs). Utilities and policymakers are increasingly looking to technologies such as electric heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) to help cut these emissions, while providing other benefits such as grid flexibility. However, relatively few case studies and limited data existed to help stakeholders understand the economics and potential benefits of having fossil fuel water heaters in multifamily buildings retrofit with HPWHs, as well as the types of program and policy interventions that could be used to transform the market. This study is a first attempt to fill those gaps.