eLab Accelerator 2019

Rhode Island’s Building Electrification Strategic Transformation

Project Objective

The RI’s BEST initiative aims to employ heating electrification technologies to achieve four goals

- Transition homes and businesses off of fossil fuels for space and water heating
- Help meet Rhode Island’s GHG emission reduction goals
- Establish a replicable, best-in-class electrification program that ensures customer satisfaction with heat pump technologies while optimizing cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiency for Rhode Island ratepayers
- Create a strategy to better coordinate building electrification with natural gas planning within National Gri

Team Members

  1. Roberta Fagan, Oil Heat Institute Inc of RI, Executive Director

  2. Matt Foran, National Grid Natural Gas, Director of Customer Gas Connections

  3. Courtney Lane, National Grid Energy Efficiency Programs, Lead Analyst

  4. David Lis, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), Director of Technology & Market Solutions

  5. Jim Madsen, National Grid Natural Gas, Manager Customer Connections

  6. Lou Rizzo, National Grid Natural Gas, Manager, NYS My Energy Solutions Residential Program Operations

  7. Laura Rodormer, National Grid Energy Efficiency Programs, Lead Analyst

  8. Becca Trietch, RI Office of Energy Resources, Administrator of Energy Efficiency Programs

Project Description

In order to reach Rhode Island’s goal of a cleaner, more efficient heating sector, the RI’s BEST initiative will work with RMI to design a program and coordination strategy that supports the rapid deployment of heat pumps in the Ocean State. The project will focus on creating a program and strategy that ensures proper heat pump usage, optimal energy savings, ratepayer cost-savings, and customer satisfaction.

Progress Made to Date (pre-Accelerator)

  • Incorporating heat pumps into existing energy efficiency programs: In 2018, National Grid incorporated 45 heating conversions (market rate homes) into the 2018 Energy Efficiency Plan. In 2019, the company expects to transition approximately 150 homes (market rate, income eligible and multifamily) to electric air source heat pumps.
  • Research into integrated controls: National Grid continuous to explore the benefits and challenges of deploying integrated controls to optimize the use of heat pumps with fossil fuel backup systems.
  • Explicit GHG reduction goals: Rhode Island has a state-wide goal to reduce GHG emissions by 80% from a 1990 baseline by 2050.
  • GHG Reduction Modeling: Rhode Island completed a study in December 2016 which outlines multiple strategies for achieving the state’s GHG reduction goals.

Project Background Information

Relevant reports and studies that are informing the RI’s BEST initiative: