February 16, 2016

Air-Source Heat Pumps for All

Meg Howard, Project Manager - Renewable Thermal

At the beginning of the month, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of a new initiative to help low- and moderate-income Massachusetts residents access cost-saving, clean and efficient energy technologies. As part of the Governor’s Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy Initiative, MassCEC is now offering income-based adders for our cold-climate air-source heat pump (ASHP) rebate program. 

Similar to traditional air-conditioners, ASHPs move heat between the indoor and outdoor environment of a household. ASHPs can provide heating and cooling for just a single room or up to an entire home. Because they are moving heat instead of creating it, ASHPs are two to three times more efficient than electric resistance heating, even in a cold climate like that of Massachusetts.

Energy used for heating represents approximately 30 percent of Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas emissions. ASHPs are like the electric car of heating: while they do require electricity to operate, they offer a solution for moving away from fossil fuels for a huge sector of our economy.  The popularity of the technology is really taking off: in 2015, MassCEC issued ASHP rebates to over 2,500 homeowners, and we expect to issue even more this year.

MassCEC offers ASHP rebates for residents who receive their electrical service from service from National Grid, Eversource, Unitil and participating municipal lighting plant communities. These rebates vary based on income thresholds and household size, and homeowners can apply for rebates for up to three eligible units. If your household earns less than 120 percent of the state median income, you may be eligible for a higher rebate! In addition to MassCEC’s rebates, MassSave offers rebates up to $500 for ASHPs that meet their requirements.

If you think that this technology may be right for you, check out our program webpage, which includes suggestions on finding an installer. We recommend that you get price quotes from at least three installers. Once you have selected an installer, they will guide you through the rebate application process. If you think that you may be eligible for our income-based rebate adders, you can have your income verified through our secure income verification portal.

If ASHPs are not the right solution for you, there are options! MassCEC also provides other clean heating and cooling rebate programs (ground-source heat pumps, biomass central pellet heaters and solar hot water), which also offer income-based rebate adders.