New Belgium Brewing tackles carbon emissions by ditching gas for electric heat-pump boilers

Originally published at: New Belgium Brewing tackles carbon emissions by ditching gas for electric heat-pump boilers | Boing Boing


But the company has also been highly invested in sustainability initiatives like this. Two years ago, for example, they released a special beer called Torched Earth that was specifically designed "to illustrate what the future of beer will look like if we don’t get more companies to commit to aggressive climate action.

They’ve always been at the forefront of environmentally-friendly brewing.

They changed the recipe on their flagship beer (a pretty daring step) to make it more enviro-friendly:

Commitments, from their web page:

Other media:



Slightly off topic, but Wisconsin has its own environmentally friendly brewery.


The only natural gas appliance I have is my hot water heater, and my bill is $35 a month. $20 for the hookup and $15 for actually usage.

A new, heat pump water heater is $1500, and there are $1150 in government rebates, net cost $350, ROI in 24 months.

Financially it makes sense to replace it, but the existing hot water heater is only 6 years old and probably has 15-20 years of life left, and I’m torn between not burning fossil fuels and saving money, and replacing something that is still functional. :thinking:

I pay $20 a month for a natural gas hookup, regardless of how much I use, but in general I use $15 a month for my hot water heater

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In the name of energy efficiency it’s ok to just call them “water heaters.” 33% fewer words! :wink:

But that doesn’t truly elucidate the mental bind I’m in😉


I’m thinking of upgrading to a heat pump system in the next five years, but similarly, our furnace was installed by the prior owner ca. 5 years ago. Thinking of leaving it installed just for redundancy/resilience. I don’t want to burn fossil fuels, but if the power goes out, it’s a generator, anyway, so…

On topic, I’m very excited to go full electric in our new distillery. Electric stills aren’t unheard of, but they rely on immersion coils and they have serious deficiencies for distilling. A still manufacturer has an amazing prototype with a handful of installs and I’m hoping it is as good as it seems. On top of that, a gigantic solar array was just installed next door (has to be 50+ acres). I’m thinking of just running an extension cord right out the door! :wink:


Just don’t follow the Rio de Janeiro electrical thieves route.

If you have the space to keep the old furnace, it certainly doesn’t hurt anything to keep it in place. In general, the MTBF of heat pumps is probably an order of magnitude better than a traditional furnace so it’ll probably have an issue when your grandchildren are adults :+1:


Here in Oz, we’re ahead of the curve on heat pump hot water heaters. Gas hot water is rare, electricity has always been expensive, and most of the houses never see frosty weather ever [1]. Ideal for heat pump uptake.

That leads to a nice-sized pool of customer reviews on heat pumps, and the trend I noticed was that saving $$$ on purchase seems to give you a heat pump that will expire very shortly after the end of its warranty.

We followed the reviews until we found one that did well under local conditions. We looked for positive reviews at least two years old, and few (if any) reviews that said “this stopped working right out of warranty”.

[1] heat pump efficiency drops off quickly in below-freezing conditions.

They’re still good enough and getting better all of the time.


Yeah, they even have the convenience of electric heat pumps now! Much better than the old days where you had to operate them by hand.


That’s really no longer true.

All new construction in BC uses heat pumps for entire houses, and they work brilliantly. Modern ones are good to -30°C. I put one in my garage and it worked perfectly through an entire Canadian winter, no problem.

We’re retrofitting all buildings to to air-source heat pumps here at a pretty furious rate. Gas heat will be a thing of the past pretty quickly in BC.


It makes me really happy to be this kind of wrong! :tada:


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