Building Affordable Emission-Free Homes in Salt Lake City

In 2022, Salt Lake City’s Housing Stability Division finished building two identical affordable emission-free homes. This project was supported by Utah Clean Energy and Goldman Sachs, with the goal of bringing affordable and emission-free homes to income-qualified home buyers. These homes incorporate best practices for energy efficiency and emission-free, all-electric appliances and equipment and were built for home buyers with a household income at or below 80% of the area median income. These emission-free and all-electric affordable homes have numerous benefits, including affordable utility bills, improved indoor air quality for the homeowners and zero pollution emissions!


  • Heating & Cooling: These homes are heated and cooled by a single system called an “air source heat pump”. The heat pump system provides central air conditioning in the summertime and heating in the winter. Heat pumps has the capability to provide heating through the use of a reserving valve. Heat pumps are all-electric, eliminating the need to install natural gas lines to serve the homes. The homes also include an energy recovery ventilator (also called an “ERV”), which brings fresh outdoor into the home.
  • Hot Water: The hot water in these homes is provided by a heat pump water heater, sometimes called a hybrid water heater. Heat pump water heaters are all-electric with use a highly energy-efficient method of moving warmth into the water storage tank.
  • Building Insulation & Airtight Construction: Ensures minimal air leakage to keep heating and cooling cost ultra-low.
  • Lighting & appliances: The appliances installed in the homes include electric cooktops and ovens, ENERGY STAR labeled refrigerator and dishwasher, as well as 100% LED lighting throughout.


  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Layout: 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, including finished basement
  • Conditioned Space: 2,098 square feet
  • Completion:  December 2022


  • 9.1% better than 2015 IECC
  • The homes were designed to cost approximately $100 per month in utility bills


  • Walls: 2×6 R-21 wall insulation
  • Attic/ceiling: Vented/unvented, R-11 spray foam + R-33 blown-in
  • Foundation insulation: R-19.5 continuous insulation 5.5 feet below grade
  • Windows: Double-pane, vinyl-framed (U-factor 0.26)
  • Air Sealing: 1.4 ACH50 with AeroBarier
  • Mechanical ventilation: Fantech Energy Recovery Ventilator (located in attic with controls on main floor)
  • HVAC: Mitsubishi HyperHeat Air Source Heat Pump (19 SEER and 11 HSPF)
  • Hot Water: Rheem ProTerra Hybrid Water Heater (3.75 UEF)
  • Lighting: 100% LED lighting
  • Appliances: Electric stove, ENERGY STAR-rated refrigerator and dishwasher
  • Water Conservation: Water-conserving xeriscaping


kevin emerson

Kevin Emerson, MSc

Director of Building Efficiency and Decarbonization

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