Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Ahmed Mohamed

Second Advisor

Michael Bobker


Building Electrification, Electric Grid, Fossil Fuel, Building Systems, New York City


New York City's commitment to reduce Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050 (80X50) requires a deep citywide conversion from fuel combustion systems to more efficient technologies, such as air-source heat pumps. Moreover, this challenging goal relies also on a much cleaner grid with the majority of electrical generation being provided by renewable sources, such as solar and wind. In this regard, building electrification is being considered as a possible solution in order to reduce emissions and maximize the efficiency of the energy utilization as well as improve the comfort of the indoor environment.

Under the assumption of a cleaner electric grid, this thesis shows that a citywide building electrification will translate into remarkable fossil fuel savings and carbon reduction. This project also compares the performance of traditional space heating and/or cooling systems, which mostly use oil or natural gas as a fuel versus electrified technologies, such as air source heat pumps (ASHP). To conduct this comparison, the efficiency, the quantity of fuel consumed and the related environmental impact of the different technologies will be investigated.

A model is used to compare fossil fuel use by on-site combustion systems with fossil fuel input to the power system for equivalent heating with heat pumps under various scenarios.

Parameters used for the various systems will include efficiency (e.g. Coefficient of Performance, COP, for heat pumps), input and output energy as well as information about the current status of New York City energy production.

Matlab is used to run simulations, manage large data sets as well as draw plots in order to accomplish comparisons and scenario analysis.

Results verify the flexibility of the developed model and show that, under certain conditions of electric grid's renewable sources penetration, the impact of building electrification may have significant benefits in terms of fossil fuel and, consequently, GHGs emission reduction

This cross-disciplinary study involves electrical, mechanical and energy engineering as well as urban sustainability. Ultimately, this thesis aims to help policy makers to make wise decisions based on real data and valuable considerations, specific to New York City and its complex systems.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.