All I want is a heat pump for the holidays. You think that I’m joking, but I’m not. My room is FREEZING in the winter and a sweatbox in the summer. I’m getting tired of having to wrestle with the three (3!) blankets necessary to survive the Bostonian winters. I haven’t forgotten last year’s winter, nor the high energy bills, which is precisely why I’m in the market for an energy-efficient cold climate heat pump.
What is the ‘cold climate’ hype all about?
NEEP’s Air Source Heat Pump Strategy Report states that the industry must identify which models can perform in cold climates versus those that cannot. As a prospective buyer, I would want to know if an efficient model can still heat my house when it’s 5°F outside. This concern prompted NEEP and our stakeholders to develop the cold-climate Air-Source Heat Pump (ccASHP) Specification.
The specification assists energy efficiency program administrators to identify model equipment and performance requirements. The development of the ccASHP specification is well-timed given that many regional stakeholders need a better way to identify products that perform efficiently in our colder northern climate.
What’s the first step in finding an efficient and affordable heat pump?
To use my own state of Massachusetts as an example, efficiency programs administered by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Mass Save offer a variety of rebates. Heat Pump Incentives are also available in other states and territories across the region. Since heat pumps offer the potential to significantly reduce energy use in homes― for electric, gas, heating oil and propane―efficiency programs are lining up to offer large rebates and incentives to quicken their uptake. They can even help me find a contractor to select the right unit for my specific needs. Most incentives will change by December 31, so if you want cheap, and efficient coziness you better get moving!
Do the rebates and requirements vary from state to state?Regional programs struggle to clearly identify which heat pump models perform in the multitude of cold climates throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. This has led to individual states and programs to develop their own specifications that recognize qualifying products for rebates and incentives. The result is an assortment of requirements across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, whereas a single, unified, requirement would streamline the qualification process and incentive offers. There is an opportunity to connect the ccASHP specification with analogous efforts of other organizations within our network for a more streamlined market.
This means that if my aunt in New Jersey wanted to purchase a cold climate heat pump, she would have to abide by different specifications than I do in Massachusetts to receive a rebate. Since each individual state is selecting their own requirements as opposed to a unified specification, a lack of uniformity persists.
What does this mean for you?
Before the ccASHP specification was released, heat pumps had already improved living spaces, cost savings, and reductions in carbon emissions. Heat pumps are playing a major role in revolutionizing household heating across the region. Therefore, a heat pump might be at the top of your wish list once you see how you can save.