New Maine Law Promotes Energy-Efficient Heat Pumps

In June of last year, surrounded by clean energy advocates, educators, and industry workers on the campus of Kennebec Valley Community College, Maine governor Janet Mills signed LD 1766 into law. Entitled “An Act to Transform Maine’s Heat Pump Market to Advance Economic Security and Climate Objectives” (really rolls off the tongue, does it not?).  The new law changed rules, added additional programs, and made several key modifications to the way both homes and businesses throughout the state will take advantage of heat pump technology.

The main goal of the law is to install 100,000 heat pumps in the state of Maine by the year 2025. As it stands, Maine currently uses more home heating oil per capita than any other state in the nation, leading to some of the highest amounts of heating-related carbon emissions per capita of any state in the nation as well. Should all goals of this new law be met, that statistic should diminish substantially and put Maine on a more stable and eco-friendly path toward the future.

Analysis of the new bill shows that adding 100,000 new heat pumps per year for the next five years will reduce heating bills between $300 and $600 a year per home. One utility provider in particular estimated that every 1,000 high-performance heat pumps in their territory would help suppress electricity rates by $300,000 per year—an effect benefitting all utility customers.

How You Can Save on Installing a New Heat Pump

Switching over to a new heat pump and dumping your old oil-burning furnace could be one of the best investments you make in your home and your comfort. Heat pumps can provide you with an abundance of clean, energy-efficient heat without the need for burning a fossil fuel source as a traditional furnace would. Not only does this keep your cost of operation down, but it also helps you keep your carbon footprint to a minimum and promotes a more eco-friendly future.

However, installing a heat pump can also be an economically beneficial decision in the short term as well. Efficiency Maine is offering rebates on new heat pump system installations in homes across the state. All heat pumps are sorted into one of two tiers, with tier 1 systems being eligible for up to $500 in rebates and tier 2 systems being eligible for up to $1,500 in rebates.

  • Tier 1 systems: Tier 1 systems are heat pumps that have anAHRI-Rated HSPF of 12.0 or greater (single indoor unit systems), or AHRI-Rated HSPF of 10.0 or greater (multiple indoor units). An HSPF rating is a measurement of efficiency and performance in comparison to other similar-sized units, as tested by the AHRI.
  • Tier 2 systems: Tier 2 systems must fit several other criteria in addition to an AHRI HSPF rating of 12.5 or greater. Each system must be single-zoned, each must be a wall-mounted indoor unit, and must be installed on or after January 1st, 2020. Likewise, to qualify for Tier 2, your home must not be served by natural gas.

Additionally, the building you’re installing your heat pump in must be located in Maine and be your principal residence all year-round. Vacation homes, seasonal homes, and second homes or investment properties don’t count and are not eligible for a rebate. All buildings must also be a one- to four-family residential building. Larger buildings do still qualify, but under a different program with different rules. Finally, every building has a lifetime limit of two heat pump indoor unit rebates. This means that you could potentially install up to two different heat pump systems in your home and zone them properly and still receive a rebate on installing both of them.

Ditch the oil-burning furnace in favor of an eco-friendly heating solution! Call Pine State Services at (207) 747-1210 today to learn about installing a heat pump in your home and what systems qualify for maximum rebates.