Proposed Legislation Would Pump Up the Heat Pump Industry

Brian McCowan, Zondits staff, 5/31/2022

Many U.S. states offer tax credits and efficiency program rebates for the installation of electric heat pumps in homes and commercial buildings. Newly introduced federal legislation would provide tax credits directly to the manufacturers of such products. The Senate bill is sponsored jointly by Democratic Senators Klobuchar, Smith, Hickenlooper, Whitehouse, Leahy, Merkley and Booker, and would provide tax credits of $600 to $1,000 per heat pump produced for the U.S. market. The bill is reported to specifically call for manufacturers to transition production of central air conditioning systems providing cooling only, to heat pumps providing both heating and cooling. 

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) the bill’s lead author said in a released statement: “This legislation is a win-win ― reducing energy costs for consumers, while strengthening access to clean, energy-efficient heating solutions.” The legislation is intended to avoid missed opportunities to switch from heating with oil, natural gas and propane to heating with the new generation of efficient heat pumps, including those designed to work well in cold climates. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, given current trends, sales of central AC-only systems will still outnumber heat pumps in 2050. Installing new central AC systems will likely result in homeowners and businesses being locked into heating with fossil fuels for the 15-20-year average lifespan of the AC units. Converting manufacturing from central AC to heat pumps now will result in a faster transition to electrification and the adoption of a cleaner heating alternative.  

Read more about the intent and details of the proposed legislation: