New Feature - Virtual Home Tours!
The HeatSmart team knows that there's nothing like touring a HeatSmart home, experiencing the comfort, touching the heat pump, and talking to a happy homeowner for inspiring confidence in this still unfamiliar technology. Covid-19 makes home tours impractical, so this fall, we're bringing home tours to you, virtually.
Join us on Tuesdays at 12:30 this fall for a series of virtual home tours. You'll watch a short video, get briefed on the latest incentives, and meet the homeowner and the installer. We'll have plenty of time for your questions! #GetHeatSmart
With the dog days of summer falling to the wayside, the chilly return of fall is almost upon us. Upstate winters are often unforgiving; don’t get stuck in the frost! This year, install a new heat pump system to heat your home in the winter, provide air-conditioning in the summer, and keep you and your family comfortable year-round.
There are several different types of heat pumps available for installations, and there isn’t a “one-heat-pump-fits-all” type of mentality that comes with installing a new heat pump system. Getting in-touch with one or more of our trusted, highly rated, and rigorously vetted HeatSmart Tompkins installer partners is the best way to determine which heat pump system could be the right fit for your home and family’s needs. Air-source and ground-source heat pumps are both semi-renewable, meaning they provide heating and cooling with the use of electricity and can use electricity generated from a renewable source of energy, in this case making them entirely renewable! Many people with solar panels on their homes choose to run their heat pumps off their renewably sourced solar energy.
One of the greatest benefits of heat pumps – besides the cleaner, greener energy – is the cost-savings. Did you know that 70% of total home energy consumption goes to home heating in our region? Homeowners on propane, the costliest form of heating available, can and do save up to thousands of dollars on their total annual heating bills after making the switch to a semi-renewable heat pump. Heat pumps provide some of the most efficient, comfortable, and clean heating energy available to homeowners, and many systems also provide air-conditioning for the warmer months. This additional cooling has the added benefits of dehumidification and air-quality improvement for the spring and summer allergy seasons!
Don’t wait for your current heating system to fail this winter. Look into a new heat pump system for greener and more efficient energy, a more comfortable home environment, and energy cost savings! Complete a short and simple form to enroll in our program today. Also, watch our recent webinar series to learn more about the various types of heat pumps, cost and energy savings, and our trained HeatSmart Tompkins installer partners.
HeatSmart Tompkins, a home-grown community non-profit which helps residents access the benefits of heat pumps and energy efficiency, has named a new program director to administer a $200,000 grant which will help the organization continue its mission for another two years. HeatSmart Tompkins, founded as Solar Tompkins, is a grassroots organization committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through implementation of clean and renewable energy technologies such as heat pumps, solar wind and increased home insulation and sealing.
Tompkins County has been a leader in the adoption of energy efficient air and ground source heat pumps thanks in part to the outreach and education provided by HeatSmart Tompkins. Heat pumps use refrigeration technology to capture the free solar heat in the air or the ground and use it to heat or cool buildings. These systems are 2-4 times more efficient than the most efficient fossil furnaces and are considered one of the key technology solutions for transitioning off fossil fuels to curb climate change. According to the “New York State Decarbonization Pathways Analysis”, 50 -70% of heating system sales need to be heat pumps by 2030 to stay on track to meet the carbon reduction goals codified in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) passed by the New York State legislature in 2019.
The grant, awarded through a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Program Opportunity Notice (PON) will help HeatSmart Tompkins conduct community outreach and education campaigns to inform residents about the benefits of heat pumps, home energy efficiency improvements and other clean energy technologies.
“We started in 2013 as Solar Tompkins,” explained Jonathan Comstock, founder and outgoing program director of HeatSmart Tompkins. “We ran the first big Solarize program in New York State to alert people locally to renewable energy solutions. Following the success of that program, we turned our attention to clean heating and cooling for even greater climate impact.”
“We learned that the technology was quite advanced and that heat pumps are popular in Europe and elsewhere, but haven’t caught on here,” said Brian Eden, chair of HeatSmart Tompkins. “The main reason for this is lack of familiarity with the technology for both contractors and the customers. We created HeatSmart to fill that information gap. We also help customers identify solutions for their buildings and quality contractors to implement them.”
HeatSmart Tompkins’ grassroots efforts attracted the attention of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the state authority which promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.
“We immediately saw the potential of doing grassroots community outreach about energy efficiency solutions for homes,” said Scott Smith, program manager of NYSERDA’s Clean Heating and Cooling team. “Albany has shown great leadership in providing us ambitious goals for climate sustainability and we rely heavily on our community partners and support from across the state to help us achieve those goals. We are now funding 15 Clean Heating and Cooling campaigns across the state, all of which were inspired by the HeatSmart Tompkins model.”
“Now in our fifth year, HeatSmart Tompkins continues to innovate and lead,” said Lisa Marshall, the newly appointed program director. “We’re incredibly grateful to have been a recipient of a $200,000 grant from NYSERDA that will carry our program forward into 2022. Our goal for this next phase of HeatSmart is to move past the early adopters to more mainstream customers, making heat pumps the default heating systems in Tompkins County. New York State is at a critical juncture in terms of our energy policy; we have to rapidly scale up energy efficiency measures including heat pump adoption to meet Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate goals. HeatSmart Tompkins is proud to lead the way in making that happen.”
The report, Health Effects from Gas Stove Pollution, summarizes two decades of health research, and finds that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside, due in part to nitrogen dioxide emissions and other pollutants coming from gas stoves.
“The health case for transitioning to all-electric cooking has been slowly mounting for more than forty years but policymakers must urgently address air pollution now,” said Brady Seals, senior associate at Rocky Mountain Institute and report author. “We have the tools to do so – Canada recently strengthened indoor and outdoor nitrogen dioxide limits to protect public health.”
The report’s key findings include:
Note: To power your home with renewable energy, see the most recent Subscription Community Solar update and 100% Renewable Electricity update.
HeatSmart Volunteer and Energy Navigator Gerri Wiley provides us with monthly updates to help you choose an Energy Supply Company (ESCO) that offers 100% renewable electricity, and/or a community solar subscription.
Wiley uses the following criteria to make her ESCO selections: