Tuesday Nov 29, 2022

Con Edison suspends its $1 billion heat pump incentive program in NY – The Journal News


To reach Gov. Kathy Hochul’s goal, Con Edison estimates it needs to convert 350,000 homes from fuel oil, baseboard electric heat, or natural gas to heat pumps over the next eight years.

Pelham resident utilizes heat pump technology to heat and cool home

lohud reporter David Wilson speaks with a Pelham resident who installed heat pumps at his home. The technology provides both heating and cooling.

Seth Harrison/lohud, Rockland/Westchester Journal News

  • Nearly 85% of New York’s 6.2 million housing units are heated by fossil fuels – fuel oil, natural gas, or propane.
  • About 200,000 New York homes are heated and cooled with climate-friendly heat pumps

Heat pumps, essentially air conditioners that both heat and cool your home, are essential to New York’s ambitious goal to have 1 million homes electrified by 2030.

The state wants to reach that goal by weaning homeowners off oil and natural gas through its Clean Hat program, which aims to address climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions with incentives for the more efficient electric heat-exchange equipment.  

But that journey to electrification, which has proved popular among homeowners, has turned rocky for Con Edison, the state’s largest electric utility, whose coverage area includes most of Westchester County and New York City.  

The transformation to clean energy is an expensive one, and it will be borne in large part by ratepayers’ utility bills. The Clean Heat program is funded by the state’s utilities, which have won permission from the Public Service Commission to use their revenues to fund the incentives.

Among the problems spurred by the program are:

  • Con Edison suspended its incentive program in May after exhausting its available funds for homeowners and contractors through the state’s Clean Heat initiative, with the program expected to cost the utility $1.2 billion by 2023.
  • Homeowners have violated local building codes by failing to obtain building and electrical permits
  • Contractors have installed too many units on some homes in a bid to cash in on Con Edison’s generous incentive program.

Con Edison’s lack of available funding has left Pleasantville homeowners Anjali and Harald Sauthoff wondering about next steps.

In December, the Sauthoffs signed a contract to install heat pumps for their 3,000-square-foot home, now serviced for heat by an aging oil burner, and without air conditioning. The job would cost $87,375, but with Con Edison incentives of $68,240, it was affordable, with the net cost about $19,000.

The Sauthoffs were aware of the benefits of heat pumps for human health and the environment: he’s a pulmonologist who treats patients with respiratory issues while she works as an environmental health scientist.

But in May, they were informed that the Con Edison incentive program was on hold for an indeterminant time. Gone was their $68,000 incentive.

Family in ‘limbo’

The Sauthoffs don’t want to invest in a new oil burner, with a …….

Source: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/2022/07/20/con-edison-suspends-1-billion-heat-pump-incentive-program-in-new-york/7658945001/

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