Eastside Cities Joins Program to Encourage Heat Pump Installation for Climate and Cost Benefits | New

Spark Northwest, a Seattle-based nonprofit, is working with the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Redmond on an energy efficiency program, Energy Smart Eastside, designed to educate homeowners about heat pumps to save energy and encourage their installation, according to a press release about the program.

City residents can choose from five one-hour virtual workshops, starting next week, to learn more about the program. According to Amy Bettle, project manager at Spark Northwest, workshop attendees are eligible to receive a rebate to reduce installation costs by at least $500 and the rebate is not limited to income.

Some jurisdictions have additional income-based incentives. The workshops will help educate people about heat pump technology, utility incentives and funding opportunities, with the goal of moving more people away from fossil fuel heating and cooling systems to pump technology electric heat which also saves money. Puget Sound Energy customers may also qualify for additional cash incentives, if they upgrade from another electric heat source, according to the release.

Eastside residents and homeowners can choose from workshops running July 26 through September 26. 27. A schedule of free workshops can be found on the program website, where people can also register.

Heat pumps are highly efficient heating and cooling systems that use less energy than traditional electric heating systems and can reduce electricity bills, according to the release.

The Energy Smart Eastside Heat Pump Campaign lowers the regular price of a heat pump, simplifies the installation process for customers, and provides guidance on utility incentives and low interest financing. By working directly with heat pump manufacturers, local distributors and expert installers to streamline the process, Energy Smart Eastside guarantees participants high quality workmanship and excellent customer service, the statement said.

Gensco is the heat pump distributor and will work with at least 10 quality installers for the program, Bettle said. The heat pumps will be Mitsubishi products.

Although tenants can participate in the workshops, the program and its incentives are intended for landlords. However, the program hopes to reach owners of multi-family dwellings who would consider heat pump technology.

“The City of Issaquah is pleased to partner with our neighboring towns to bring the heat pump program to our community,” Issaquah Mayor Lou Pauly said in the statement. “Campaigns like Energy Smart Eastside help educate residents about saving energy and have a positive impact on climate change. The City has also committed to funding free facilities in a limited set of low-income households in this first year and looks forward to expanding the program in the future.

Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson, Redmond Mayor Angela Birney and Kirkland Councilor Kelli Curtis also praised the program for its energy savings, climate benefits and technology that provides heating and efficient home cooling.

Robinson added, “This program is open to all Bellevue residents and those with a certain level of income can take advantage of generous incentives and funding options for facilities at no cost.”

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