According to research by NASA (2020), global temperature has been steadily increasing since the early 1880s with an anomaly of 0.98ºC being recorded in 2019. Likewise, there exists a 90% to 100% consensus among publishing climate scientists that human activities contribute to the global warming effect (Cook et al., 2016). Some of these activities include industrial processes (manufacturing, refinement, and waste production), extraction, and processing of fossil fuels and domestic energy use in the residential sector. In particular, inefficiencies in water heating solutions contribute significantly to CO2 and methane emissions from the residential sector (Hong and Howarth, 2016). One approach to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases regards the implementation of renewable energy sources that utilize alternative fuel sources.
In Massachusetts, five technologies are widely deployed in residential heating applications: cold-climate air-source heat pumps (ccASHP), ground-source heat pumps (GSHP), biomass thermal (BM), solar thermal (ST), biofuels (BF) and biogas (BG). However, despite their application, there remains a distinct lack of empirical studies that examine the costs and benefits of deploying the technology as a measure to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases.