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Renewable Heating And Cooling

RHC Project Development Tools

Factors to Consider

If you are considering a renewable heating or cooling system for your home, business, or organization, you should keep a variety of questions and factors in mind:

  • What are your heating/cooling needs?
  • Which technologies can provide you the necessary heating/cooling energy?
  • How do renewable heating and cooling options compare with conventional technologies?
  • What renewable resources are cost-effective in your part of the country?
  • What renewable heating and cooling products should you choose?
  • Who will install your system?
  • How will you finance the system?


Applications and Technologies

Calculators and System Design Tools

  • RETScreen Exitis a software program, developed by the Canadian government, to help decision-makers quickly determine the technical and financial viability of potential renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cogeneration projects, including renewable heating and cooling technologies such as solar, geothermal, or biomass.
  • Exitis a comprehensive industry website that offers consumers several calculators to help estimate the amount of heat you need for a room, compare fuel costs between renewable and conventional sources, calculate the cost of heat with different wood resources, estimate wood stove burn times, estimate water storage needs for wood-based central heating systems, and more.
  • The Renewable Energy Optimization Tool (REopt) is an early screening tool designed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify and prioritize renewable energy projects at a single site, or across a portfolio of sites in multiple cities, states, or countries, each with its own energy requirements, resources, goals, and constraints. REopt combines site, resource, cost, incentive, and financial data to evaluate solar hot water, solar ventilation preheating, and biomass projects.

Resource Potential

  • Renewable resource maps were developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to show biomass availability, geothermal resources, and solar energy potential across the United States.
  • The BioPower Atlas is a product of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that identifies locations where biomass feedstocks can be used for power production.

Product Selection

Project Developers and Integrators

EPA recommends that consumers seek credentialed and properly trained professionals when developing renewable heating and cooling projects. Below are organizations that independently certify industry professionals who work with several renewable heating and cooling technologies:

Financial Resources

Resources for Policymakers

Other Resources

  • Renewable Energy Ready Homes are specifications developed by the ENERGY STAR program to assist builders in designing and constructing homes equipped with features that make the installation of solar energy systems after the completion of the home’s construction easier and less expensive.

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