Project Director: Val Stori

Contact: Val Stori,

The heating and cooling sector accounts for over forty percent of the nation’s energy use. CESA’s renewable thermal project works with member states to evaluate renewable heating and cooling technologies and develop policies and programs that support best practices to further develop the market for renewable thermal technologies.

The project currently covers the following technologies: advanced biomass heating systems, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, and solar thermal. CESA members are interested in learning more about these relatively new technologies, including their overall efficiency, performance, and emissions attributes. In addition to system performance, states are interested in the sustainability of feedstocks (wood pellets), air quality impacts, and project costs. Lastly, several state members have adopted, or are in various stages of pursuing, thermal provisions for state Renewable Portfolio Standards. CESA involvement with RPS thermal provisions has mostly fallen under our State-Federal RPS Collaborative project.

To date, the primary focus of the renewable thermal project has been on biomass thermal system efficiency, emissions, testing, and standards. CESA is researching and drafting biomass thermal program best practices and hopes to develop a collaborative approach to biomass thermal policy. Policy recommendations for biomass thermal storage systems are under development.

Other issues of common interest for potential collaboration in renewable thermal include pellet sustainability, metering and monitoring heating and cooling systems, emissions and efficiency testing, standards, and program best practices. Like many of our other projects, CESA staff research and survey program best practices from around the country, facilitate discussion among state members, and seek consensus on best practices for accelerating market uptake.