NEWS: Energy and environmental policy
E3 Quantifies the Economics of All-Electric New Construction in Utah

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February 15, 2022

Interest in all-electric properties in Utah is growing due to the associated air quality, public health, and environmental benefits from this type of construction. These benefits are increasingly accessible as all-electric technologies like air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) and heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) continue to improve in energy performance, particularly for colder climates, and become more widely adopted by contractors and building professionals.

E3’s new study, “The Economics of All-Electric New Construction in Utah,” provides important detail on upfront capital costs, energy performance, and customer energy bill costs for all-electric new construction. The study examines the economics of all-electric new construction relative to a mixed fuel baseline in Utah’s three major climate zones, for single-family and multi-family homes. This information will help building professionals, housing developers, policymakers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and members of the public make informed decisions about all-electric design choices in new construction.

E3 found that, with intelligent design choices, all-electric single-family and multi-family homes can be built at lower upfront cost than mixed fuel homes in Utah constructed to use both electricity and natural gas. Furthermore, all-electric new construction can result in reduced energy bill costs, even in Utah’s colder climate, when cold climate heat pumps are specified. Across the lifetime of installed equipment, some all-electric packages have lower lifecycle costs in all of Utah’s climate zones. Additional lifecycle cost savings can be achieved by specifying more efficient equipment packages and cold climate heat pump technologies.

Beyond project economics, all-electric construction can deliver air quality benefits and carbon emissions reductions, particularly as Utah transitions to a cleaner electric grid. New construction provides a powerful opportunity to build out sufficient electrical capacity and electrify end-use loads to better support a transition to a decarbonized economy.

Present Value Lifecycle Costs Over a 15-year Time Horizon by Climate Zone and Technology Package for the Single-Family Home Prototype. CC Ductless All-Electric represents packages with a cold climate ductless heat pump. Mixed Fuel represents homes built to use both electricity and natural gas.

An E3 team of Michael Sontag, Jun Zhang, Brian Conlon, Sruthi Davuluri, and Amber Mahone conducted the study, which was commissioned by the Building Electrification Institute.

Full Report

The Economics of All-Electric New Construction in Utah (PDF)


Capital Cost Source Data (.zip)

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