COLD COMFORT: Since 2006, electric heat pumps have replaced over 12,000 oil- or propane-fired furnaces in WNC. While the heat pumps can be highly efficient at moderate temperatures, engineers and energy industry experts say they are less so when the mercury drops below freezing. Data from the Energy Innovation Task Force and Duke Energy; graphic by Scott Southwick

Heat pumps drive rapid growth in WNC’s peak electricit­y demand

Using data provided by Duke Energy, a local task force has shown that much of the growth in WNC’s peak electrical demand is driven by the conversion of existing oil- and propane-fired heating systems to electric heat pumps. Slowing the growth in peak demand is the mission of the task force, which hopes to delay or eliminate the need for one of three new power plants proposed for Duke Energy’s Lake Julian station.

Re-energizing Asheville

About a year ago, the Asheville City Council set an ambitious long-term goal for reducing the city’s contribution to climate change: an 80 percent cut in city government’s carbon emissions by 2050. That means looking for ways to conserve, retrofitting city facilities with more energy-efficient technologies, and generally shrinking Asheville’s carbon footprint at a rate […]