Renewable Thermal Energy

Renewable energy doesn’t just mean clean electricity from solar panels and wind turbines. It also means clean thermal energy from the sun (and the Earth’s interior).

Renewable thermal energy (aka “clean heating and cooling”) is a central feature of DEEP’s initiatives to decarbonize Connecticut’s residential and commercial buildings. A wide range of technologies – from heat pumps to biofuels to solar water heating – harvest renewable energy from the environment. They provide buildings with efficient, low-carbon heating and cooling and can dramatically reduce use of fossil fuels.

The agency’s development of renewable thermal policies and programs involves both the Office of Energy Supply and Infrastructure and the Office of Building and Transportation Decarbonization.


Renewable thermal technologies

Mature, readily available technologies include:

  • Air-source heat pumps (consumer guide)
  • Ground-source heat pumps (consumer guide)
  • Water-source heat pumps
  • Heat pump water heaters (consumer guide)
  • Solar water heating (consumer guide)
  • Solar space heating
  • Liquid thermal biofuels
  • Pellet boilers, furnaces, and stoves
  • Industrial waste-heat recovery

Geothermal Summer Winter Diagram

Image source: Dandelion Energy

Emerging technologies include:

  • Renewable natural gas
  • Enhanced geothermal
  • Concentrated solar for industrial process heating
  • Compost heat recovery

Are clean heating and cooling technologies a good fit for your home or business? What incentives are available?

Publications and activity