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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 Energy Networks. Additional names for this type of system include District Thermal, district-style heat pump systems, and community heat pump systems.

Community Thermal Energy Networks 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 Energy Network installations and is inviting proposals at multiple due dates continuing through 2023.
  • PON 4614 drives exploration of business models that can cost-effectively grow this market to scale through support for:
    • Category B (Design)
    • Category C (Construction)
    • Solution providers and project sites interested in evaluating the feasibility of a community heat pump system may use the FlexTech program for funding assistance.

View 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.