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In New York, The Future Of Heating and Cooling is Electric

On January 10, 2023, in her State of the State speech, Governor Kathy Hochul called for the nations’ most aggressive ban on fossil fuels yet in new buildings. During her speech, Hochul urged the State Legislature to phase out the sale of fossil fuel heating equipment in existing residential buildings beginning in 2030, and for commercial buildings, 2035.  The Governor also proposed that new residential buildings be all electric by 2025, and commercial buildings be all electric by 2030.

Cerrone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is a local business that has been on the front line of the evolution of clean energy. Joe Cerrone, the owner and manager, is aware that the future in the industry will be electric: “They are starting to change the laws to push everyone to heat pumps” he said during a recent interview.

A heat pump runs on electricity and can both heat and cool the home. As the industry evolves and changes, Cerrone sees what he calls “hiccups” with covering the heating load of a house: “When a house is converted to be all electric, the heat pump will have a back up strip heater in the unit. So when the heat pump can’t keep up, the electric heater will help cover the load. The issue is that the electrical panels are not large enough to take care of the load of the house. So if the house has a 150-amp panel and with all of the electricity being drawn from it, the panel would have to be upsized to a 400 amp meter” Cerrone said.

Cerrone with his experience in the field of HVAC would recommend a gradual change towards the technology: “Right now, people still like their standard furnaces… They are all hooked up, and the furnaces last for 15 years or so. Right now what I would recommend to customers is if their central air conditioning system needs to be replaced, then replace it with a heat pump” Cerrone said. 

There are rebates available to encourage customers to move towards installing heat pumps, offered in ranges between $500 and $5,000. Cerrone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has completed the training for the certifications to be an affiliated contractor with the clean heat program; they are one of the few contractors in the area fully trained to offer these rebates and services. 

Although the industry is shifting, the technology of heat pumps is not new: “So, we’ve been installing heat pumps, mainly mini-ductless heat pumps, for 15-plus years. So they have been around… It didn’t happen overnight. They have been getting better and better over the years, and in some situations they can take the whole load for the house” Cerrone said.

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