I cool, I heat, I’m really neat
February 3, 2023
Heat Pumps are Winning!
This newsletter is brought to you by Rewiring America, A.K.A. the nation’s #1 heat pump fan club and the home of Mr. Heat Pump. We are undeniably pro pump, but it’s not just us – our enthusiasm is backed up by national and global market trends.
In 2022, heat pump sales exceeded gas furnace sales. The era of the heat pump has arrived.
This is a big deal, folks. It shows that an electrical appliance is WINNING the race against a fossil-fuel based counterpart. Every time a household chooses to electrify another aspect of their life, Saul Griffith sheds a salty, Aussie tear and we get one step closer to a #rewiredamerica.
Heat pumps are also growing on a global scale. In Finland, nearly 200K heat pumps were sold in 2022, a market growth of over 50%. Germany saw similar growth with an increase in sales of over 53%. Both these countries get cold, real cold. This is important because we still see news stories that claim that these machines do not work in colder climates. Not true. Heat pumps operate in all climates, helping all households emit less in the process. Carbon Switch gives a great rundown of the best cold climate heat pumps.
When we say “heat pump,” we are often talking about the miracle machine that can replace a home heating and air conditioning system. However, there is a family of heat pumps that can perform other functions in your electrified future.
Heat, cool, save
Let’s dig into that slice of happy in the middle of our chart: Savings. All three of these appliances are more efficient than their traditional counterparts. Increased efficiency = decreased utility bills. They all use less energy to perform the same functions as their non-electrical counterparts. Working smarter, not harder is how the heat pump family whirs.
There are incentives built into the IRA for all three of these appliances: 25C: provides a 30 percent tax credit for heat pumps and heat pump water heaters, capped at $2,000 per year. The credit resets each tax year, effectively becoming available again for additional projects. 25C tax credit is available now! Electrification Rebates can apply to all three appliances for low- to moderate-income households. These rebates are not live yet. Rollout schedule will vary by state – some could go live by late 2023 while others might not come online until 2024.
Health, comfort, peace
Heat pumps aren’t connected to the gas grid, so they can’t leak methane into the atmosphere. They’re electric so they also don’t require fossil fuels to operate. Heat pumps make for a healthier environment inside the walls that make up a home and outside the walls that make up our planet. Both indoor and outdoor air quality improve with a heat pump. And the fossil fuel money stops flowing to petrostate dictators, and stays on an (electric) circuit closer to home.
Here are two stories from the news this week: Exxon brought in $6.3 million dollars in profit PER HOUR last year. Not revenue, profit. Every hour of every day of the past year. Second, "64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck."
These two things are not unrelated. High fuel prices – for gasoline, heating oil, etc. – eat up a growing portion of Americans' disposable income.
Just for scale, if you set aside 8 percent, or a little less than one month's worth of that profit, it would be equivalent to what Congress just allocated to the Electrification Rebates program in the IRA – for the duration of the next 10 years – to help people move from inefficient fossil fuel heating equipment to efficient electric heat pumps and heat pump water heaters.
Put another way, every hour's worth of that Exxon profit could be used to install efficient electric equipment and insulation in more than 200 low-income homes across the U.S., creating good paying jobs and freeing hundreds of families from a meaningful portion of their paycheck-to-paycheck burden.