Fossil-fueled appliances in buildings are a significant source of emissions, not only of greenhouse gases but also pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are responsible for a variety of air and water quality and health problems. A model rule recently developed and published by RAP proposes an approach to regulating NOx emissions from water heaters over time. The goal is to drive transformation of the market for these appliances, particularly through adoption of efficient electric heat pump models. Similar appliance emission rules are already in place for water heaters and furnaces in the Bay Area of California and elsewhere, and other agencies are likely to follow suit.
To make such a transformation smooth for households, new appliance technology must be affordable and accessible. In an interactive webinar, panelists from RAP, RMI, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation discussed the keys to transforming this market, from innovative appliance standards to consumer-friendly pilot programs.