Successful BPU Heat Pump Reimbursement Proves Interest Exists, But Only at the Right Price | News, Sports, Jobs


With the higher cost of installing heat pumps compared to natural gas furnaces or forced air conditioning systems, it’s no surprise that the City Utilities Board’s Heat Pump Rebate Program is so popular.

But it’s really unexpected that the city’s program ran out of money in the middle of the year. Heat pumps are one of the state’s preferred solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in homes across the state, as they require 25% of the energy to be powered by electricity, while the remaining 75% is acquired naturally from the environment.

Dave Leathers, BPU’s chief executive, said he’s not surprised BPU’s rebate program has been so successful, saying it may have spurred townspeople to invest in technology. that they would not otherwise have considered.

“It was a pretty aggressive incentive program,” Leathers said. “The good news is that there seems to be interest in the community, and we got it in six months.”

There have been many doubts statewide about the state’s ability to meet its climate program goals, in part because heat pumps can be more expensive than other heating options like the electric heating by baseboards or natural gas. The BPU’s experience shows there is value – but only if consumers don’t foot the full bill for a greener, more expensive source of heating.

The move away from fossil fuels in home heating may be happening faster than initially thought. But the public investment to make this transition happen will be huge – and sadly, that’s not likely to change.

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