California heat pump
From left: Andrew McAllister, California Energy Commission (CEC); John J. Hurst, Lennox; Joshua C. Greene, A. O. Smith; Jason Thomas, Carrier; David Calabrese, Daikin; Mark Lessans, Johnson Controls; Chris Ahn, LG Electronics; Chris Day, Rheem; David Hochschild, CEC, signed the heat pump agreement at the CEC summit. (Source: CEC)

JCI Among Stakeholders Supporting California’s 6 Million Heat Pump Goal

Ten manufacturers and suppliers of building heating and cooling equipment have committed to help California meet its 2030 heat pump target.

Ireland-based Johnson Controls International (JCI) is one of the 10 manufacturers and suppliers of building HVAC equipment that have committed to supporting California’s goal of having six million electric heat pumps installed by 2030, according to a statement from the California Energy Commission (CEC).

At present, more than 1.5 million heat pumps have been installed across the state.

The agreement was announced at a two-day summit that was hosted by the CEC and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and brought together stakeholders from government, industry, academia and civil society to explore viable pathways to electrifying California’s buildings.

Alongside JCI, the other signees are Carrier, Daikon, Fujitsu, Lennox International, LG Electronics, A. O. Smith Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, Rheem Manufacturing Company and Trane Technologies.

“I applaud the vision and dedication of the 10 manufacturers who are stepping up to strengthen California’s ability to deliver on our goal to install six million heat pumps,” said J. Andrew McAllister, Lead Commissioner on Energy Efficiency at the CEC. “Partnerships with industry are critical in aligning policy and reality.”

“I applaud the vision and dedication of the 10 manufacturers who are stepping up to strengthen California’s ability to deliver on our goal to install six million heat pumps. Partnerships with industry are critical in aligning policy and reality.”

J. Andrew McAllister, CEC.

Expanding production capacity

As a part of their commitment, JCI and the other manufacturers have agreed to expand heat pump production capacity to meet the state’s target. They have also committed to ensuring heat pumps are grid-friendly by enhancing energy efficiency and incorporating load flexibility.

The CEC has said that it will collaborate with the ten companies to develop a public-private partnership that will facilitate the policy and market support needed to bring heat pumps into the mainstream.

“This new commitment will ensure grid-friendly heat pumps are widely available and help consumers understand why they’re the better choice for both comfort and the climate,” explained McAllister.

According to George Oliver, CEO of JCI, electric heat pumps offer numerous benefits to society.

“Simply replacing oil and gas with heat pumps presents an enormous global opportunity for energy and cost savings, energy security and decarbonization,” he said in an interview with Fortune magazine earlier in 2023.

“Simply replacing oil and gas with heat pumps presents an enormous global opportunity for energy and cost savings, energy security and decarbonization.”

George Oliver, JCI

Heat pumps as standard

The new agreement will build on existing policies and programs under the CEC, California Air Resources Board, California Public Utilities Commission and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality in the state by 2050.

For example, California’s 2022 building energy efficiency standards have established electric heat pumps as the standard for space heating and hot water production in new single-family homes in the state from January 1, 2023. The code also emphasizes the benefits of using solar photovoltaics, battery storage and other demand-response technologies alongside heat pumps to boost grid flexibility.

“[The] current California market share for new single-family homes is 55% for heat pump space heaters and 16% for heat pump water heaters,” explained the CEC.

California’s efforts to scale up the adoption of heat pumps are supported by the California Climate Commitment and the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), with a combined US$1.5 billion (€1.42 billion) in funding available for building decarbonization.

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