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Why is California Banning Natural Gas Heaters?

What’s the deal with California and natural gas in buildings? It started with cities and counties requiring new construction projects to be all-electric. On Sept. 22, 2022, California policymakers voted unanimously to ban the sale of gas furnaces and water heaters after 2030. What’s with all these restrictions, and why now?

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The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a Big Deal

The Biden administration has taken a significant step to address climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has been signed into legislation. Over half of the $737B in the legislation address mitigating the impacts of climate change.

There is no question that this legislation will significantly impact the clean energy industry and many others. Many in the industry are excited and perhaps overwhelmed at the same time. The goals outlined in the IRA will take some heavy lifting. Are we ready? And what does this mean for the clean energy industry?

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Contractors are facing two significant challenges to growth today. Supply chain issues are the first. Can you guess the second?

We spend a great deal of time talking to contractors. Understanding their challenges helps us focus our efforts as a trade organization. We continue to hear the same two concerns from contractors. One seems to be slowly improving, and the other is much more difficult.

The first is supply chain issues, which are becoming less of a problem in most cases. The other is the lack of an available workforce, a much more significant and daunting challenge.

Why is it so hard to hire new workers, and what can we, as an industry, do to solve the problem?

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Five Reasons Heat Pumps Are Making the News

Heat pumps have been making the headlines recently. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has illustrated the security risks related to dependence on fossil fuels. Heat pumps are being promoted as a means for Europe to reduce its dependency on energy sourced from hostile partners.

President Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act to encourage the domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies. The Department of Energy (DOE) published a plan in February to build a Clean Energy Sector Industrial Base. These are both significant efforts to bolster the adoption of clean energy technologies. One of the technologies showcased in these plans is heat pumps.

What are heat pumps, and why are they now critical for our national security? Are there other benefits to this technology? Should we all consider installing heat pumps for our homes and business? Why is this technology getting so much attention these days?

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The Continued Value of Efficiency in a Decarbonization World

Recording Heat Loss at the House With Infrared Thermal Camera

It’s human nature — everyone wants to find that magic “silver bullet” that will solve all their problems. It’s no different in the energy efficiency space, where the industry is constantly looking to find the latest and greatest technology or product that will fix everything. But while we have a lot of innovative solutions, from…

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The BPA National Conference – How Was Nashville?

Nashville sign

In April 2022, the Building Performance Association held its annual National Conference. For the past few years, the planners had to build a contingency for providing the content virtually due to travel restrictions and the global pandemic. This year was no exception, as travel restrictions threatened to make this yet another online event. The good news is this year, the conference was held in person for the first time since 2019.

We attended the conference in Nashville, our first in-person industry gathering, in quite some time. The following blog provides a perspective on attendance, the conference and educational sessions, and Nashville.

We attended the conference in Nashville, our first in-person industry gathering, in quite some time. The following blog provides a perspective on attendance, the conference and educational sessions, and Nashville.

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Still Think Gas Stoves Are Best for Cooking? Think Again

Side view, close-up gas stove flame

For years, professional chefs have touted the benefits of natural gas stovetops for cooking. Gas burns clean, burners heat up instantly, and temperature is easy to regulate. High-end kitchens have been combining gas cooktops with electric ovens for years.  Lately, though, a plethora of studies and news stories have warned us that cooking with natural…

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A Perspective on TECH Clean California Incentives

Computer Keyboard with Apply Now key

If you are a contractor in California, you have likely heard about the new Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH) incentive program. Funded by proceeds from gas corporations’ greenhouse gas allowances (cap and trade revenues), TECH aims to promote the adoption of near-zero-emissions space and water heating (heat pumps) in existing single and multifamily…

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Do You Really Need to Upgrade Your Service Panel to Electrify Your Home?

Picture a common scenario you have likely encountered in home electrification retrofits…a homeowner considering the switch to an electric heat pump water heater or space heater and faced with the likelihood of an expensive panel upgrade. 

The one hundred amps capability found in most older homes generally isn’t enough power to support an all-electric home. But replacing the electric service panel can cost $3,500 to $6,000. And potential costs can skyrocket if electricity is delivered underground to the home. 

But this expensive panel upgrade may not be needed. Here are some alternatives you may not have considered…

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Is there a better way to access clean electricity than through the existing grid?

renewable energy

Electrification continues to get traction nationwide. Many are concerned about the impacts of adding electrical devices, like electric cars, to the grid. Naysayers claim this will only lead to more blackouts and wildfires. In the short term, there might be some truth to this.
Often people fail to recognize that as we move to an electric future, the electrical distribution grid will need to change. As more renewable generation sources come online, managing loads and storage will be crucial. Perhaps it’s time to consider the structure of the distribution grid itself. Is there be a better way to distribute and share electricity?

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