Case study

Energy Smart Eastside

UPDATED: 12/14/2023


Project Name: Energy Smart Eastside

Project Leader(s): Energy Smart Eastside is a formal partnership between the Washington cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and Redmond.

Partner(s): Nonprofit partners include: Spark Northwest (helped with program inception), Hopelink, King County Housing Authority, Imagine Housing. Gensco is the program’s HVAC distributor partner.

Stage of Completion: In-progress

Construction Type: Existing buildings 

Building Type:

  • Single-family (including 2-5 plexes and condos)

  • Affordable housing multi-family

Total Number of Units Targeted Annually:

  • 150 low-income households

  • 300 middle-income households through $1500 incentive

  • 500 all incomes through $500 incentive

Total Number of Units Completed:

  • 100% cost coverage: 105 homes with heat pumps (83 of those affordable housing units - based on projects completed and/or scheduled to be completed in January/February 2024)

  • Program rebate installs: 45 homes 

Tenant Structure:

  • Single-family housing that’s owner-occupied

  • Affordable multi-family housing that’s renter-occupied

Target Audience:

  • All member-city residents in single family housing

  • Affordable housing providers in our member cities

  • Program-specific offerings increase based on qualified income. In all scenarios we provide guidance on how to stack incentives with local utility rebates and IRA incentives to maximize savings.

  • $500 Rebate through Mitsubishi (all residents)

  • $1500 Rebate through Mitsubishi when switching from fossil fuel heat source (<150% AMI)

  • 100% cost coverage (<80% AMI)

Electrification Project Scope

Full/Partial Electrification: Partial

Existing Heating Fuel Type:

  • In single family homes, predominantly gas furnaces. 

  • In multi-family homes, predominantly electric resistance heating.

End Uses Electrified: Space heating and cooling

Specific electric appliances installed: Air source heat pump


Total Project Funding: $3.7M

Amount or % of Project Cost Covered per unit:

  • $500 instant rebate - all residents

  • $1500 instant rebate when switching from fossil-fuel heat source - <150% AMI

  • 100% install costs covered - <80% AMI

Source of Funding:

  • $2.1M from city funds

  • $590,000 from Washington State University Community Energy Efficiency Program Grant

  • $1M from Washington State Department of Commerce Building Electrification Grant

More information

Organization mission: Energy Smart Eastside catalyzes the equitable transition to healthy, energy efficient, all-electric homes. We foster resilient communities, collectively leading the way towards our shared goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Additional Measures implemented:

  • Through partnership with King County Housing Authority, affordable housing units also receive weatherization and remediation services.

Workforce Development/Green Jobs Component:

  • Workforce development will be rolled out in 2024 and is a component of the Washington State Department of Commerce grant application.

  • The program partners with a local distributor Gensco, and the Mitsubishi Diamond Dealer network to offer incentives to area residents. 

  • The partnership provides a mechanism for HVAC dealer education that benefits city residents by helping dealers apply all available rebates to reduce costs, and by encouraging system designs that do not rely on fossil-fuel back up systems.

  • The partnership also provides an excellent source of leads to the local contractor community which has been important as demand has softened due to high interest rates.

Next Steps:

  • Implement a pilot peer-coaching service to provide 1:1 assistance to residents who are exploring installation of a heat pump.

  • Implement a study to evaluate expansion of incentives to market rate multi-family housing buildings

Source :

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