NEEP’s cold-climate Air Source Heat Pump (ccASHP) Product List has come a long way in the past few years. Flash back to 2015 (which considering the pandemic year, feels like an eternity ago), and NEEP was just launching an ASHP and smart controls initiative to accelerate adoption of air source heat pumps to meet our long-term market transformation goals by 2025 and 2030. A big piece of this was an identified market need to effectively differentiate heat pump equipment capable of high performance in colder climates. This barrier, in addition to six others contained in the NEEP Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Air-Source Heat Pump Market Strategies Report, guided the development of a ccASHP Specification to standardize the reporting and performance for heat pumps to qualify as cold-climate systems. At that point, systems meeting the requirements of the ccASHP Specification (now on Version 3.0) were eligible to be added to the NEEP ccASHP Product List, which programs around the Northeast region could use to  identify air-source heat pumps that are best suited to heat efficiently in cold climates. In addition, the specification served as a mark of meeting industry standards – and for consumers, it often meant they qualified for rebates and other financial incentives.

The List: Then vs. Now

In the early days, the NEEP list was an Excel spreadsheet housed directly on the website, which listed several hundred cold-climate heat pumps. In 2019, the list transformed into an independent website with enhanced features for visitors, contractors, manufacturers, and program administrators. Contractors and visitors could visit the improved site to pre-qualify equipment they were thinking about purchasing and installing, with the technical specifications available right in a detailed view of each listing. Manufacturers gained access to a brand owner dashboard, where they had special privileges within the website to add products by AHRI reference number, add product parameters and performance metrics, and even attach images to their listings. Program administrators gained the ability to login and download the web-based list in Excel format whenever they wanted. This facilitated administration of their incentive programs by letting them quickly reference which products are (or aren’t) on the list.

Today the NEEP ccASHP product list houses over 21,000 products from over 90 industry-leading manufacturers. There are eight ducting configurations (specific arrangement of outdoor and indoor unit types) featured throughout the list, with singlezone ducted, centrally ducted systems making up about 18,900 of the products. Below is a breakdown of the products by configuration currently on the ccASHP Product List:

AHRI Indoor Type

Ducting Configuration on NEEP List

# Products on ccASHP Product List


Singlezone Non-ducted, Floor Placement


Singlezone Non-ducted, Ceiling Placement


Singlezone Non-ducted Wall Placement


Singlezone Ducted, "Compact Ducted"


Non-Ducted Indoor Units

Multizone All Non-ducted


Ducted Indoor Units

Multizone All Ducted


Mixed Ducted and Non-Ducted Indoor Units

Multizone Mix of Non-ducted and Ducted


Centrally Ducted

Singlezone Ducted, Centrally Ducted


The addition of search functions to identify systems by brand, AHRI reference number, model number, and ducting configuration has proven very important, especially with the disproportionate count of single zone ducted, centrally ducted products. The inflation of centrally ducted systems is due to the exponential number of combinations for furnace models that can go along with centrally ducted outdoor and indoor units. In future iterations of the cASHP specification, NEEP will explore ways to group centrally ducted products that have identical indoor/outdoor unit combinations.

A Performance Review

Among all the products on the NEEP list, the average performance of systems is stacking up to the measuring stick and, in many cases, exceeding the NEEP ccASHP Specification. This is a reassuring sign that the market is moving to a place where manufacturers are guaranteeing quality and performance in their system design, giving hope to an increase in cold-climate system adoption in the not-so-distant future. The NEEP ccASHP Specification (V3.0) requires the following minimum performance metrics:

  • For Non-Ducted systems: HSPF > 10
  • For Ducted systems: HSPF > 9
  • COP @5°F > 1.75 (at maximum capacity operation)
  • SEER > 15

Below are the average ratings available across the list for the different configurations, demonstrating a pattern of strong performance across the list:


Average HSPF


COP (at 5°F)

Average EER

Average SEER

All Products





All Multi zone





Single Zone – Centrally Ducted





Single Zone – Compact Ducted





Single Zone – Non-Ducted





With a central repository for cold-climate air source heat pump equipment, programs around the Northeast, Midwest, and Canada are appreciating the value of these ratings and are leveraging the NEEP list to help implement their programs. Twenty-two state and utility programs now leverage the NEEP ccASHP product list and subscribe to the Heating Electrification Initiative. Over the years, NEEP has collected stakeholder feedback for ways to improve the usefulness of the product list website, and this has resulted in changes such as new data fields, turndown ratio and a “sold in?” column, and new visuals to help contractors appropriately size equipment they install, such as the capacity graph included in every single listing on the NEEP list:


Engagement in NEEP’s Heating Electrification Initiative has enabled advocacy organizations, contractors, service providers, manufacturers, and programs to convene frequently and discuss these metrics and strategies for accelerating ASHP adoption. It’s through the collaboration and conversations of stakeholders in the initiative that resources such as the NEEP ccASHP Specification and tools such as the NEEP ccASHP product list were conceived and further improved upon over time. Our regional heat pump experts are crucial to pushing these ideas and strategies forward.

Where To Now?

While the list has evolved tremendously over the last several years, we still have opportunities in terms of standardizing reported performance data. In a larger effort to list every single heat pump capable of strong year-round performance in cold climates, future lists hope to have more standardized reporting procedures to both streamline the process for manufacturers and make the data more useful to the broader market.

With states rolling out new public policy tailored to ambitious heat pump installation targets, such as in Massachusetts and Maine, robust performance metrics for high efficiency heat pumps is going to be a staple of meeting our building decarbonization goals. Systems that struggle to meet building load through a winter, or that aren’t sized correctly, will be a major barrier in accelerating the adoption of cold-climate heat pumps, and the NEEP list is making significant progress in bridging that gap.

Within the next several months, the next planned evolution to the list is a sizing assistant tool, which is intended to help contractors size equipment more accurately to meet building load. Stay tuned folks –the NEEP list is gaining traction as a heat pump resource for colder regions, which means it will play a bigger role in our larger mission to get more cold-climate heat pumps in our homes and buildings.

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