Community Heat Pumps Pilot Program

A strategic network of heat distribution pipes serving multiple buildings

The thermal needs within buildings, such as comfort heating of occupied spaces and production of domestic hot water, are challenges to decarbonize, but they also are crucial to address in order to meet New York State’s nation-leading climate goals.

Energy-efficient heat pump technology, powered by renewable electricity (either generated on site, or purchased from the power grid), provides a viable option.

Heat pumps are frequently installed to serve the needs of a single building. To leverage economy-of-scale and to expand clean energy options for customers who have insufficient footprint space to serve their own needs, heat pumps can be integrated with a network of distribution pipes to serve multiple buildings in a configuration referred to as Community Thermal or District Thermal.

Community Thermal systems can address the needs of new construction projects as well as retrofits of existing buildings, and can be applicable to single-owner campuses such as:

  • Colleges/universities
  • Medical campuses
  • Residential complexes
  • Multi-owner nodes (such as downtown corridors).

Program Opportunity Notice 4614 (PON 4614)

  • NYSERDA issued a competitive solicitation to support development and demonstration of low-carbon Community Thermal Systems installations and is inviting proposals at multiple due dates throughout 2021 and 2022.
  • PON 4614 drives exploration of business models that can cost-effectively grow this market to scale through support for:
    • Scoping
    • Design
    • Construction

View Round 1 winners

A list of solution providers who have self-identified as being active in the heat pump community thermal marketplace, and references to some of their projects, is available. Customers are not required to use these solution providers for participation in PON 4614:

Analysis of Regulatory Issues affecting the District Thermal Marketplace

In September 2020, NYSERDA issued Contract Agreement #158002 to Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace University, to conduct a study of New York state and local law and regulation affecting the delivery of thermal energy across public rights-of-way. When completed (expected early Summer 2021) the project report will be posted on NYSERDA’s website. A synopsis of the project objective is available here.

Final Report Issued June 2021 [PDF]