Getting The Manufacturers' Perspective

On July 19, at the latest installment of Urban Green’s It’s Electrifying series, influential product manufacturers will gather for an open discussion about building electrification and heat pump product development.

This event grew out of our recent report, The Next Frontier for Energy-Efficient Products, which identified technologies that the New York construction market can use today. Equally important, we dug into why they aren’t on the market already. Interviews with 14 different HVAC manufacturing firms all underscored our key finding: we need increased communication and collaboration between manufacturers and building designers, owners and operators if we want to see a new generation of energy-efficient products in the marketplace. Upon uncovering this disconnect, we noticed that our ongoing conversation about electrifying NYC was missing a key element: the manufacturers’ perspective.

And indeed, when it came to what designers and owners wanted, heat pumps rose to the top—specifically efficient units that could be retrofitted into packaged terminal air-conditioner (PTAC) openings for apartment heating and cooling. And heat pumps offer significant energy-savings potential along with scalability; there’s at least 120,000 PTACs in New York City right now.

This event will provide a real-life perspective through a panel of heat pump manufacturers to share their side of the story and begin to bridge the communications gap. We’ll be at Project Farmhouse next Thursday to hear representatives from Bright Power, Carrier, Fujitsu, Ice Air and Martin Associates weigh in on building electrification strategies. Panelists will discuss the barriers and pathways to achieving a marketplace for HVAC technology that works for New York City’s future.

We know building electrification will play a key role in reaching our carbon reduction goals. But what is holding us back from widespread heat pump retrofits? We hope to get some insights from our esteemed panel next week.

About the authors

Anna Weingord
Anna supports Urban Green’s research and policy projects. Prior to joining the Research team, she worked on the Brooklyn Navy Yard development project, and conducted research at Building Energy Exchange and Greenpeace Australia Pacific. Anna holds a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Analysis & Policy from Boston University.