• Replacing 60% of the most inefficient heating systems with heat pumps could save up to 9 billion cubic metres of gas per year when fully operational
The study conducted for Enel by Agici on the benefits of electrifying domestic heating and hot water systems was presented at the Enel Auditorium in Via Carducci in Milan. During the conference, attended by leading experts in the field and representatives of companies and environmental associations, the potential for electrification of domestic consumer consumption was identified and an analysis of the environmental, economic and social benefits and their balancing with respect to costs was developed.
In fact, replacing 60 per cent of the most inefficient heating and hot water systems with heat pumps could generate a net economic, environmental and social benefit of between 95 billion euros without any further investments in renewables, and up to 222 billion euros if heat pumps were fully powered by renewables. This translates into a gas saving of between 5.6 and 8.9 billion cubic meters per year (between -18% and -28% of total residential gas consumption, equivalent to the consumption of 4.3-6.8 million households), and a net saving in CO2 emissions of between 18 and 28 million tons per year (up to 7% of the total emissions of the Italian economy).
"Electrifying the energy we consume to heat our homes is good for the environment and reduces costs and gas consumption," emphasizes Enel Italia Director Nicola Lanzetta. "Choosing this path means creating a great opportunity also from an industrial point of view to strengthen the supply chain of Italian companies in the heat pump market."
"Heat pumps offer an optimal response to the energy crisis that the country is facing," points out Stefano Clerici, CEO of Agici. "They use a mature technology that is technically and economically feasible, they are in synergy with renewable energy sources, and they promote energy independence.”
The project modelled the impacts of electrification on final consumption as realistically and accurately as possible, including all the relevant variables in the model with a high level of geographical and technological detail. A comparison of the various combinations shows how, in each case, the electrification project brings benefits that significantly outweigh the costs.
These results lead to the conclusion that the electrification of heating and hot water consumption in the domestic context is a winning strategy due to the economic and environmental benefits it can bring.
During the various speeches, a number of proposals were also put forward that would facilitate and accelerate the process of adopting these systems. Starting with raising awareness among households about the economic, environmental and comfort-related benefits of heat pumps through institutional information campaigns; the activation of training courses for installers, condominium administrators, architects and others, so that they can guide end customers towards an informed choice; the definition of an incentive system that rewards energy efficiency and lower gas consumption; and greater support for the Italian heat pump supply chain to cope with the increase in demand.