Heat Pump Technology Provides Higher Levels of Indoor Comfort – Both Heating and Cooling – and Lower Energy Consumption Without the Use of On-Site Fossil Fuels

April 12, 2021

Members of New York State Clean Heat today announced a new consumer education and awareness campaign to accelerate the adoption of clean heating and cooling solutions in new and existing homes. The NYS Clean Heat initiative, led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in conjunction with National Grid, Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc., Rochester Gas & Electric and the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, encourages the adoption of energy efficient heat pumps for heating and cooling both spaces and hot water in buildings as a beneficial alternative to harmful on-site fossil fuel combustion. Today’s announcement supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 as mandated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

NYSERDA President and CEO, Doreen M. Harris said, “As we transition to a carbon-neutral economy across all sectors and push toward New York’s nation-leading clean energy and climate goals, it is crucial that we accelerate our adoption of cleaner, carbon-free heating and cooling technologies in all buildings, including homes. Heat pumps provide significant benefits, including more comfortable and healthier living spaces, and we are proud to work with our utility partners to help homeowners make informed decisions about the technologies, rebates and local installation experts available to them for making the switch to an environmentally friendly heating and cooling future.”

The NYS Clean Heat initiative’s goal is to drive at least 130,000 heat pump installations by increasing consumer knowledge, awareness and confidence in heat pump technology and complementary energy efficiency measures. The initiative increases awareness of heat pumps as an environmentally friendly alternative and conducts baseline research to measure market recognition of terms like air source, mini-splits, ground source and geothermal. Scheduled to run through 2025, the NYS Clean Heat Initiative is connecting customers to qualified installers and contractors and providing informational resources about utility rebates for their service area, financing options and local Clean Heating and Cooling Community Campaigns.

Heat pumps draw heat from the environment and move it outdoors to cool homes or indoors to heat both living spaces and hot water. There are two types of heat pumps:

  • Ground source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heat pumps, are highly energy efficient systems which transfer thermal energy with the ground using the Earth’s consistent year-round underground temperature.
  • Air source heat pumps are also energy efficient, and pull air from an indoor or outdoor space, separate it into hot and cold, and return the desired temperature back inside, while discarding the undesired temperature outside and are able to do so even when air temperatures are below freezing.

The benefits of heat pumps include:

  • Quieter, more comfortable heating and cooling, which can be tailored to each room or living space;
  • Heating and cooling are both contained in one system;
  • Lower energy use as compared to traditional electric or fossil-fuel based systems;
  • Improved indoor air quality;
  • Longer life span than conventional air conditioning units and furnaces;
  • Easier to clean and maintain than traditional fossil fuel-based systems;
  • Flexible installation methods – can utilize your existing ductwork or be installed in homes without any ductwork;
  • Effective even in sub-zero temperatures.

Lenny Singh, Senior Vice President, Customer Energy Solutions, Con Edison said, “From large geothermal systems to easy-to-install ductless mini-splits we’re helping our customers switch to some of the most efficient heating and cooling systems available. Building awareness about this technology and its benefits will continue to encourage adoption by giving customers the information and confidence they need to switch to clean energy to keep their homes comfortable and efficient year-round.”

National Grid New York State Executive Director Melanie Littlejohn said, “Climate change is the greatest challenge facing the world and programs promoting heat pumps and other sustainable solutions help us meet this challenge. The company’s plan is aimed at achieving Net Zero by 2050 by continuing programs that, over the past three years in upstate New York, have included spending nearly $15 million on incentives for a variety of energy efficiency projects that have saved nearly 964,000 megawatt hours of electricity and 2.1 million dekatherms of natural gas.”

Janette Espino, Vice President of Customer Service, Orange and Rockland said, “We are pleased to be collaborating with NYSERDA on this effort to bring clean heating and cooling technologies to our customers. This effort will further support the state’s climate initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and provide increased awareness of clean heating and cooling opportunities for our customers.”

Carl A. Taylor, President & CEO, New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) said, “NYSEG and RG&E are committed to helping support the energy transition to cleaner heating and cooling technologies. This program will help to educate our customers about the benefits of innovative heating and cooling technology and will ultimately help reduce emissions from buildings. We look forward to working with our partners at NYSERDA as we work to build cleaner, more sustainable, communities across the state.”

Charles A. Freni, President and CEO, Central Hudson said, “Our highly successful heat pump program, which has already exceeded this year’s targets, has helped thousands of our customers lower their carbon footprint and energy costs, especially those converting from heating oil and propane. New heat pumps are highly efficient and provide economical heating and cooling for year-round comfort. We appreciate NYSERDA’s partnership in promoting clean heating systems.”

The program will also help spur economic and job growth in the heating and cooling and energy efficiency sectors as consumer demand increases for heat pump installations. To meet increased consumer demand and sustain the skilled workforce needed to grow this sector, Governor Cuomo announced in his 2021 State of the State address that 14,000 workers are to be trained in this industry, including priority populations and displaced fossil fuel workers. Those interested in applying to be a NYS Clean Heat Program Participating Contractor can visit: https://saveenergy.ny.gov/NYScleanheat/Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Currently, the heating and cooling of buildings is responsible for approximately 33 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. Space and water heating are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector and it is estimated that, in order to reach our economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, more than half of the heating systems installed annually will need to be heat pumps by 2030.

This consumer education and awareness program is funded through NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Fund. NYS Clean Heat will invest nearly $700 million, including today’s nearly $10 million commitment, to develop the market and provide consumer incentives for efficient building electrification solutions, including a variety of heat pump technologies. Through NYSERDA and utility programs, over $6.8 billion is being invested to decarbonize buildings across the State. By improving energy efficiency in buildings and including onsite storage, renewables, and electric vehicle charging equipment, the State will reduce its carbon pollution and achieve the State's ambitious target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs by 2025, the equivalent of powering 1.8 million homes.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..