Home energy program serves as model for communities across state
The HeatSmart home energy program, which helps Tompkins County homeowners connect with local heating and cooling contractors, closes its 2017 season with a public information session at The Space @ Greenstar on Tuesday, May 30, at 6 p.m.
“If you’ve been meaning to get to a meeting, this is your chance,” said program director Jonathan Comstock. “It’s a great way to fight global warming while making your household more comfortable year-round.”
A program of the local nonprofit Solar Tompkins, HeatSmart works to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Tompkins County by promoting home sealing, insulation, and super-efficient heat pump systems. In this area, roughly 75 percent of home energy use goes to heating and cooling. Most of that energy is provided by fossil fuels.
Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one place to another, providing warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer. By switching from traditional furnaces and air conditioners, homeowners with access to solar or wind power can drastically reduce their carbon footprints.
HeatSmart has held 20 community meetings so far this year in all ten of the county’s municipalities. The meetings allow homeowners to learn about heat pumps and meet three vetted installers – Halco, NP Environmental, and Snug Planet – with no obligation. The program is being used as a model for similar efforts across the state.
The May 30 event will begin at 6 p.m. with free wine tasting organized by Six Mile Creek Vineyard. The information session will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Space @ Greenstar is located at 700 W. Buffalo St. in Ithaca.
In order to help us plan for the event registration is helpful, but not required.
With funding from the Park Foundation and CCETC, Taitem engineering just released a very exciting report comparing energy use, carbon emissions, and cost for furnaces versus heat pumps. In new construction, the ASHP were even more cost effective than a gas furnace. Both air source and ground source heat pumps produce huge reductions in energy use and emissions.