• Home Home

New report details how traditional HVAC systems are taking a backseat in the Northeast — here's why that's important

The trend stretches across the United States.

The trend stretches across the United States.

Photo Credit: iStock

Heat pump enthusiasm continues to grow in New England.

Vermont led the region in per capita installation rate through last year, with 97 per 1,000 residents, the Burlington Free Press reported. Maine was right there with 94 per 1,000 residents and more than doubled the Green Mountain State's total with 131,000 more heat pumps. Vermont added 63,000, though its population is less than half of Maine's.

Massachusetts, New England's most populous state with seven million citizens, has had 30,000 heat pumps installed, or just 4 per 1,000 residents.

Mainers are in something of a race to install as many heat pumps as possible. After they met a goal of 100,000 heat pump installations by 2025 a year and a half early, Gov. Janet Mills changed the objective to 175,000 installations by 2027.

Vermonters, too, are ramping up installations, with 11,000 in 2023 alone, per the Free Press. Efficiency Vermont, the nation's first energy efficiency utility, as well as utilities have helped spur the growth with discounts. The state is also piloting a project for renters with window-based heat pumps.

Such incentives "are a big factor in their popularity," WCAX reported. The Affordable Heat Act and the joint work of manufacturers, retailers, and contractors has helped as well — so much so that installers are having a hard time keeping up.

"For a small company, it's a huge portion of our business now," Energy Co-op of Vermont service manager Joe Cobb said.

The trend stretches across the United States. Heat pumps were 21% more popular than gas-powered furnaces last year, staking a 54.7% market share. The devices are much more efficient than gas-powered boilers and help reduce energy bills as well as the production of polluting gases that envelop Earth like a blanket and contribute to the warming of the planet.

"Heat pumps are seen as a key factor in combatting climate change," the Free Press reported. "The National Resources Defense Council cited a study in 2022 done by researchers at the University of California Davis that showed a typical U.S. home could cut its heating-related climate pollution by 45-72% by switching to an all-electric heat pump in place of a gas-fired furnace."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider