You know that heat pumps have officially arrived into the public consciousness when they come up in friendly conversations between “what’s your favorite Netflix show” and Wordle wins and losses. We are happy to share some heat pump news that you can talk about at your next BBQ.

NEEP works collaboratively with stakeholders across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region and beyond to accelerate efficiency and electrification in homes and buildings. As part of our regional market development work focused on heating electrification, we have managed and housed a Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump (ccASHP) Specification and Product List since 2015. This list highlights air source heat pumps appropriate for cold climate applications. The current list includes over 35,000 products from over 100 leading brands and is used broadly by incentive programs, contractors, and consumers.

NEEP is excited to announce Version 4.0 of our ccASHP Specification. NEEP conducted extensive market-actor engagement during the specification revision process and we thank our regional and national partners – including federal agencies, program administrators and manufacturers – for providing invaluable input. Through this revision, the specification is evolving to meet the needs of stakeholders and to maintain a leadership role in the fast-growing heat pump market. The revised specification, effective on January 1, 2023, will continue to serve as an important tool for programs, manufacturers, contractors, and consumers to drive adoption of heat pumps in cold climates.

With significant industry transitions occurring over the coming year, including a change to long-standing heat pump performance metrics and the launch of new ENERGY STAR specifications (Central Air Conditioner and Air Source Heat Pump Specification Version 6.1 and Light Commercial HVAC Version 4.0), NEEP’s ccASHP Version 4.0 was designed to provide an element of consistency to the market. 

Version 4.0 and the ccASHP Product List complements ENERGY STAR’s new cold climate specifications by providing special recognition of ENERGY STAR Cold Climate certified products and by continuing to make extended performance data available to the market. When both resources are used in tandem, we can help drive adoption of heat pumps ideally designed AND sized for cold climate applications.

Extended performance information is critical in sizing and selecting cold climate ASHPs for each unique application. NEEP recently launched new functionality within the product list to support proper sizing and selection. (See our blog from April)

This revision expands the scope and reach of the specification to include a category for variable refrigerant flow (VRF) products. VRF multi-split heat pumps are larger capacity air source heat pump systems commonly applied to commercial, multi-family, and public buildings. When combining the list’s long-standing heat pump category, recently added packaged terminal heat pumps/single package vertical heat pumps, with this new VRF category, the list covers an ever-growing variety of heat pump configurations with cold climate performance. Additional heat pump categories are in the queue for future specification development, including commercial packaged heat pumps (e.g. rooftop units or RTUs), air-to-water heat pumps, and ground source heat pumps.

Version 4.0 of NEEP’s Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump Specification is final and ready to help serve the heat pump market. Now, help us spread the word!

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