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Lesson Learned: Electric Heat

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  • Lesson Learned: Electric Heat

    At the Bud Clark Commons (High Performing Buildings, Summer 2014), a Portland, Ore., homeless services center, an optimized thermal envelope resulted in limited space heating required in each of the apartments. While electric heat is generally not favored due to its high energy costs, it is a cost-effective solution if heating is reduced to only provide slight temperature adjustments according to the preferences of each occupant as opposed to being the primary heat source for the space. Ventilation air is tempered to provide the heating necessary to keep the indoor air temperatures comfortable for most occupants. Window sensors and programmable thermostats in the apartments prevent the use of the electric heaters while the windows are open. The electric utility bills for each apartment average approximately $30 per month, and closely match the anticipated utility costs for electricity. Do you agree that electric heat is a good solution for this scenario? In what other scenarios can electric heat be a good option?

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