Climate Program Director Dr. Pamela Braff has announced the launch of Energize Olympia, an initiative to promote energy-efficient ductless heat pumps (DHP) through a group purchase campaign.
Braff was at the Olympia City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 28, and spoke about the initiative they have been working on for over a year. She said the DHP group purchase campaign was designed, supported, and implemented by a partnership between Olympia, South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity, and Spark Northwest.
The long-term goal of this program, the City of Olympia website states, is to transform households in the city into a more comfortable, healthy, affordable, resilient, and less carbon-intensive environment.
The DHP group purchase campaign provides tools to overcome barriers to electrification and weatherization for residents.
Heat pumps, Braff explained, offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners for all climates. "They are an alternative to your furnace or air conditioner. They reduce energy consumption. They reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They provide heating in the winter, cooling in the summer."
The city's website added that ductless systems could save 25-50% in heating costs over traditional electric heating systems.
“Heat pumps are highly efficient heating and cooling systems that move heat from one place to another. If you have a refrigerator, freezer, or air conditioner, you already have heat pump technology in your home. Heat pumps are powered by electricity and come in mainly two varieties: ductless (aka mini-split) and ducted (aka central, forced air) systems,” the website explained further.
Braff said the heat pump group purchase campaign offers benefits to community members:
Braff said the installer would provide some discounts, and some would be provided by the city.
She added that the city received responses to the request for proposal (RFP) for an installer who will provide services. They are still reviewing the RFPs. The installer will be providing a group for purchase discount.
The climate director also informed the public that the city is also providing an additional discount of $800 for the first 50 participants of the program who installed a heat pump.
Braff said they would schedule community workshops in May. Participants will learn about heat pumps, meet installers and learn the process.
She said interested participants must attend a community workshop to be eligible for the campaign incentives.
For more information, visit www.olympiawa.gov/energize.
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