The Biden administration is pushing electric heat pumps as a solution to high energy costs, enlisting companies like
The White House on Wednesday announced more than $13 billion in assistance aimed at lowering utility bills, creating union jobs, and meeting climate goals—with a big emphasis on heat pumps. Heat pumps are energy-efficient alternatives to gas furnaces because, rather than creating heat, they use electricity to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space.
Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to visit a union hall and training facility in Boston to tout the workforce development opportunities from making more heat pumps domestically. The visit comes less than a week before the midterm elections as New England contends with high energy prices heading into winter.
Airbnb, Redfin, and Lyft are launching an education campaign to reach 10 million households about opportunities to save money with heat pumps and other building electrification opportunities.
A second private-sector effort announced Wednesday by Mars, Procter and Gamble, and Cargill are making commitments to explore and use heat pumps in their industrial facilities to cut costs and reduce pollution.
The Department of Energy said that Carrier and Trane Technologies have committed to meet the Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge requirements for higher performance in cold weather.
The department requested information on how to allocate $250 million from the climate and tax law (Public Law 117-169) to spur US manufacturing of heat pumps, following President Joe Biden’s move in July to invoke the Defense Production Act.
The agency announced nearly $9 billion for states and tribes for home efficiency programs under the law, which Democrats passed in August. The new rebate program is expected to allow 1.6 million households nationwide to upgrade homes and apartments to lower energy bills, including by installing up to 500,000 heat pumps and conducting deep building retrofits through insulation and electrical wiring.
In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services announced $4.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which covers winter home heating costs and home energy efficiency repairs.
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