Heat pump rebates help cut heating and cooling costs

Last modified: 11/27/2015 9:16:13 AM
Here’s hot news about a cool way to save money on your heating bills — and on cooling costs as well.

Until Nov. 30, the non-profit Mass Energy Consumers Alliance is offering additional savings onto a rebate program by the state Department of Energy Resources energy-efficient heat pumps purchased through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Clean Heating and Cooling Program.

The rebates — $750 per air-source heat pump system, or up to $3,375 for as many as five systems per household — come from a $30 million, five-year allocation from the renewable energy trust collected from utility bills around the state, according the Department of Energy Resources, according to department spokeswoman Catherine Williams. Over five years, its Clean Energy Center has committed $3.75 million to fund 2,009 clean heating and cooling projects, including high-efficiency air-source heat pumps, biomass boilers and ground-source heat pumps ­— 94 of them in Franklin County.

Through Nov. 30, discounted prices for the systems, arranged by Boston-based Mass Energy Consumers Alliance as part of its marketing campaign are in effect for the systems through Sandri Energy and Noonan Energy in the Pioneer Valley. The rebates themselves will remain in effect, however.

The devices, which in winter, take naturally-occurring heat from the outside air and distribute it throughout a building and in summer remove heat from indoor air and distribute the cool air throughout a building, typically range in price from $3,700, fully installed, for a 9,000-BTU system, to $5,200 for an 18,000-BTU unit, according to Wayne Gagnon, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialist at Sandri Energy of Greenfield.

Even when winter temperatures reach 0 degrees outdoors, Gagnon said, the systems operate at 100 percent of rated capacity, and when temperatures drop to minus 13 F, output lessens to 58 percent of rated capacity.

Gagnon, who said he saved more than $1,000 on his own oil costs last year by installing the system in his home, added that it can be used in place of or in addition to other home heating systems.

Sandri and Noonan Energy in Amherst are the competitively selected dealers for the program in Western Massachusetts, and can do free consultations with program applicants to see which system works best for their homes.

In addition to the Clean Energy Center rebates, there are also $500 rebates available from Mass Save’s “Cool SMART” program as an energy efficient cooling technology.

“Some people call it renewable thermal, some call it energy efficiency,” said Larry Chretien Mass Energy Consumer Alliance, which is marketing the program for the state. “It’s a good technology whether you call it renewable thermal or energy efficiency.”

There’s also a Mass. Save program that offers interest-free loans to make qualified energy efficient home improvements, including installation of air source heat pumps and central wood pellet heating systems.

On the Web: wepowr.com/massenergy

You can reach Richie Davis at rdavis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, Ext. 269



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