Mr. Heat Pump Goes to Washington

June 10, 2022

RA -- 610

Sometimes in politics, ideas and dreams become reality. This week President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to boost domestic manufacturing capacity for heat pumps, solar panels, building insulation and critical grid components. This is an important step in delivering true energy independence and climate stability for Americans, as Bill McKibben so thoughtfully articulated back in February. It’s also what Rewiring America called for in our Electrify for Peace Policy Plan. Needless to say, we're pumped to see this vision find its way to the President’s executive action list.

When combined with President Biden’s DPA order on rare minerals, focused on shoring up America’s supply chain for battery technology, the actions of the Administration have made clear that electrification is the energy strategy and direction we can and must take for the economy and the climate.

Electrification of the machines we depend on in our day-to-day lives, powered by clean electricity, is the only solution that delivers American families the energy bill security they deserve, and gives us a shot at staying inside of 1.5 °C warming.

By building our domestic productive capacity for clean energy, the President’s actions can create up to 500,000 installation and maintenance jobs in the clean heating and solar sectors alone. These clean energy technologies will deliver savings to American households, combating the inflation that is already straining family budgets. It will also protect against future energy bill volatility. Households taking advantage of these efficient electric machines will save up to $1,000 annually from space heating alone, and they’ll breathe easier without the health risks, like asthma, that come from gas fumes.

This executive action helps give America control over its energy destiny – manufacturing the machines that generate and consume electricity, and protecting us from the whims of petrostate dictators like Putin.

The DPA investments will help drive domestic uptake of heat pump technology. Compared to other countries, the United States has lagged in the adoption of heat pumps, which can both heat and cool a home without using fossil fuels. But demand for heat pumps is growing rapidly, even in colder parts of the United States including Maine, Alaska and Minnesota.

In fact, our Heat Pump Man on the Hill, Sam Calisch, caught Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) extolling the virtues of heat pumps as an efficient technology in the coldest of climes. And don't forget to watch Heat Pump visit the White House!