These states are basically begging you to get a heat pump

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Death is coming for the old-fashioned gas furnace – and its killer is the simple heat pump. They're already selling gas furnaces in the US, and now a coalition of states have signed an agreement to supercharge their gas-to-electric transition by making it as cheap and easy as possible for their residents.

Nine states have signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for heat pumps to make up at least 65 percent of residential heating, air-conditioning and water-heating shipments by 2030. (“Shipments” here refers to systems manufactured; it is a proxy for how many were actually sold.) By 2040, these states—California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island Island-are aiming to make 90 percent of those shipments into heat pumps.

“This is a really strong signal from the states that they are committed to accelerating this transition to zero-emission residential buildings,” says Emily Levin, senior policy advisor for the Northeast States Coordinated Air Utilization Management (NESCAUM). Which is Vayu-Sangha. Quality agencies, which facilitated the agreement. For example, states will collaborate to pursue federal funding, develop standards for the rollout of heat pumps, and create a comprehensive plan “with prioritized actions to support the widespread electrification of residential buildings.”

Instead of burning planet-warming natural gas, a heat pump heats a building by transferring heat from outside air into the interior space. Run it in the opposite direction, and it can cool the inside of a building—a heat pump is both a heater and an AC unit. Since the system is electric, it can run off the grid powered by renewable energy such as wind and solar power. Even if you have to run a heat pump with electricity from fossil-fuel power plants, it's much more efficient than a furnace, because it runs rather than produces heat.

According to one estimate, a heat pump can save an average American family more than $550 per year. They have become so efficient that even when it is freezing cold, they can extract heat from the air to heat the house. You can also install a heat pump system that heats your water as well. “We really need consumers to move from dirty to clean heat, and we really want to get the message out that heat pumps really are the way to go,” says Maryland Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain. “We have homeowners who are getting ready to replace their furnaces, and if they don't have the information, they're not going to replace it with a heat pump.”

The announcement of the alliance comes just months after the federal government doubled its commitment to heat pumps and announced $169 million in funding for domestic production of the systems. That money comes from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which also provides thousands of dollars in rebates or tax credits to an American household for switching to a heat pump.

These states are aiming to further collaborate with those heat pump manufacturers by tracking the sales and overall progress, thereby sending a signal to the industry to increase production to meet the upcoming demand. They will also collaborate with each other on research and generally share information, working towards the best strategies for realizing the transition from gas to electricity. Basically, they are attempting a kind of standardization of policies and regulations to build, buy, and install more heat pumps, which other states outside the alliance can eventually take advantage of.