If you’ve been wanting to switch over to a renewable and affordable way of heating your home, but have worried about not being able to afford it, you may want to sit down and read this post twice. In the last few years we have gone from having no incentives for air-source heat pumps, to being able to cover at least half their cost for some households. There are now four incentives--two of which are new as of September 2019--that, used together, may make air-source heat pumps a reality for many households in the Tompkins County area:
NYSERDA rebate of $500/outdoor unit (to contractor who may or may not pass it along to customer) or $1,000/ton for a whole home system (note this whole-home rebate is not listed on the webpage, but it does exist--we promise!)
Sustainable Tompkins rebate of $2,000 per air-source heat pump system for low- or moderate income residents in Tompkins County or surrounding towns. Income cut-off levels are 80% of the area median income, $73,568 for a family of four in Tompkins County. (Information on their website is forthcoming.)
Grant from the Finger Lakes Climate Fund based on how much carbon the system will be offsetting (approximately $500-$2,000). This is a program of Sustainable Tompkins, and is also for households with limited income.
NYSEG rebate of up to $1,050 for a multi-zone system with three indoor heads.
There are also several rebates for heat pump water heaters.
If this sounds too good to be true, well, it sort of is. The two most significant rebates may soon be gone: the NYSERDA rebate may be phased out soon; and the Sustainable Tompkins rebate is available until the funds run out (it can serve at least 60 households). The Climate Fund grants are reliant on payments into that fund (have you offset your emissions lately?). All we can say is to make the most of this window of time. We’re not sure if there will ever be this level of support again.
To learn more, go to a HeatSmart Tompkins community meeting or enroll in the program, or contact an energy adviser (including volunteer Energy Navigators) for personalized advising, or read more here. To access the incentives, the equipment must be installed by a licensed contractor, and for the first three incentives, by one that participates in NYSERDA’s programs.
And of course, there’s still substantial incentives for ground-source heat pumps (aka “geothermal”) in the form of a 30% federal tax credit plus a substantial state rebate. And there is support for other forms of renewable heating, like heating with pellets or high-efficiency wood boilers.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. Our energy advisers are here to help!