The United States Climate Alliance — a coalition of 25 state governors (including the governors of Puerto Rico and Guam) that have professed a commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement — just agreed to promote policies that will speed up the adoption of heat pumps in their states.
Heat pumps are widely considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective ways to heat and cool your home. As the Department of Energy explains, “heat pumps are able to collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside.”
This saves users money due to the efficiency of the operation and also does less harm to the planet than traditional heating methods as the process does not involve burning any oil, gas, or coal.
According to one Natural Resources Defense Council study, gas furnaces produce 45% to 70% more planet-overheating pollution than heat pumps.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee told the Associated Press that heat pumps are “almost a miraculous solution” to three distinct problems: “heating in the winter, cooling in the summer, and a reduction of carbon pollution.”
The governors of the U.S. Climate Alliance pledged to “collectively reach 20 million heat pump installations across the coalition by 2030, with the aim of ensuring at least 40 percent of benefits flow to disadvantaged communities,” according to a statement. That figure would represent quadruple the number of heat pumps currently installed in the U.S.
The statement was a bit short on details about how that goal would be met — presumably, that will be left up to each governor. However, there are already tax incentives in place from the Inflation Reduction Act that encourage homeowners to install heat pumps.
Some states have already gotten a head start on the goals, thanks to their residents. In Maine, one report showed heat pump installation is on the rise despite propaganda from dirty energy-based heating companies who see the environmentally friendly devices as a threat to their profits.
Washington state is showing how policies can be implemented to ensure the goals are met, as the state now requires each new home to be built with heat pumps.
“Heat pumps and solar should become items that are required at the sale of each home,” wrote one CleanTechnica commenter.
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