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Energy Efficiency Day 2022: The Year of the Heat Pump

Gavin Chisholm
October 5, 2022

One of our favorite holidays is right around the corner – and we don’t mean Halloween.

This year, Energy Efficiency Day falls on October 5, marking the annual awareness event to promote the many benefits of energy efficiency across the United States. Supported by hundreds of organizations and governmental bodies, Energy Efficiency Day is an opportunity to reflect upon and share stories of energy efficiency success, and even consider ways you can become more energy efficient in your own life. 

The message of Energy Efficiency Day is “Save Money. Cut Pollution. Create Jobs.” Here at DG+, we see energy efficiency as much more than a talking point or some boring standard by which we measure our household amenities. While flashier technologies like solar and battery energy storage often get more attention, energy efficiency operates quietly in the background to reduce your energy consumption, costs, and carbon footprint. Simply put, the more energy efficiency measures that you are able to achieve, the less renewable energy you need to make an impact. There’s a reason that the old saying, “Reduce, reuse, recycle” starts with “reduce”.

Energy efficiency simply makes sense for anyone who wants to live sustainably. To be efficient in your energy usage means to have respect for your environment and those around you who rely on the same sources of energy as you. Moreover, efficiency is in tune with the natural world where we live in. The natural world follows the path of least resistance - the most efficient route. 

This year, to meet this message, participants in the celebration can retrofit their homes, reconsider their lifestyles, and advocate for change at the governmental level. This year’s theme is “All about the heat pump.”

2022: All About the Heat Pump

Energy Efficiency Day 2022 is focused on the heat pump, an energy efficient alternative to a traditional air conditioning unit. A heat pump works two ways: by pumping heat out on hot days, and by pumping heat in on cold days. Think of it as A/C with a reverse switch. Heat pumps can be five times more efficient than a traditional air conditioning unit at cooling your home, and they can easily be switched to heating mode when the temperature drops. In heating mode, a heat pump is about three times as efficient as a gas furnace, so the owner wins out on energy efficiency whether it’s hot or cold outside. 

As global average temperatures continue to rise and historically temperate regions deal with new extreme and erratic weather patterns, energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important in our battle against climate change. It will become crucial for families to have the ability to reliably and affordably heat and cool their homes in the face of increasingly frequent and damaging climate disasters. A heat pump is a cost-effective option for those who want to reduce their energy consumption and costs overall. In fact, one report found that as many as 16.7 million single-family homes could benefit from the installation of a heat pump, with collective energy savings reaching $12 billion! 

What does the Inflation Reduction Act mean for heat pumps?

While a heat pump can clearly deliver energy efficiency and savings benefits, its price tag still runs up to $2,000 more than traditional A/C. However, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has invested $369 billion into renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. A significant portion of that money is available as rebates and tax credits for individuals who install heat pumps and this is a huge deal for home energy efficiency. Now, heat pumps are more affordable to a wider population, who can now cost-effectively reduce their energy needs and carbon footprint. 

Under the IRA, heat pumps are available for a point-of-sale rebate of up to $8,000 depending on the owner’s income. Those individuals who do not meet the income criteria are eligible for a 30% tax credit, worth up to $2,000. Here is how the provisions break down: 

  • Median income less than 80% of your area’s median income: 100% rebate, up to $8,000
  • Median income between 80-150% of your area’s median income: Up to a 50% rebate
  • Median income greater than 150% of your area’s median income: 30% tax credit, up to $2,000

How will you celebrate?

If you want to take action this year to celebrate, there are a variety of ways to do so. The Energy Efficiency Day website has plenty of resources for those interested in participating in the 7th annual Energy Efficiency Day. You can get social media graphics, sample tweets, email templates, and more to help spread the word.

DG+ is also excited to participate. As an advocate of energy efficiency and climate progress, the DG+ team will be participating by signing onto the participant list, emailing leaders, and revisiting our lifestyles and home energy usage to become more energy efficient. It’s better for the planet, our wallets, and our communities!

Learn more and take action at energyefficiencyday.org.

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