To achieve climate change goals, buildings will need to go electric.
What is electrification?
Electrifying buildings means replacing their fossil fuel boilers and furnaces—which contribute 40 percent of NYC’s carbon emissions—with highly efficient electric heat pumps. This will lower carbon emissions and improve air quality indoors and out.
Even with today’s fossil fuel-dominated electric grid, heat pumps will save carbon in almost all building retrofits and new construction. Once renewable energy scales up in NYC, the savings will be dramatic, and electrification will be a critical path for buildings to comply with Local Law 97.
What are heat pumps?
Essentially, heat pumps capture heat from the outside air and move it inside. This process works even when the outdoor temperature is well below freezing, and it can be reversed to cool buildings during the summer.
Heat pumps cut carbon
The reduction in carbon emissions from electrification will vary depending on how efficient new heat pump systems are, as well as NYC’s evolving electric grid. The figure below shows two grid scenarios—one dirty (left) and the other cleaner (right)—demonstrating a wide range of possibilities. In nearly all cases, emissions will be reduced.
We’ve done lots of great work advancing electrification in NYC’s buildings. Explore our progress:
Making New York’s electric grid less reliant on fossil fuels will require changes to electricity generation, transmission and distribution.
Groundbreaking legislation phases fossil fuels out of new construction starting in 2024.
NYC’s groundbreaking climate legislation sets carbon emissions caps for large buildings starting in 2024.