With the summer news cycle dominated by floods and record-breaking heat, it can be hard to feel anything but discouraged about the future of our planet. And while the evidence of climate change is impossible to ignore, taking a moment to celebrate local climate wins can help provide optimism, momentum, and energy to continue the fight to combat climate change.
A recent Lexington win came when the Lexington HeatSmart program hit 100 participants. Lexington HeatSmart is a partnership between the Town and Abode Energy Management to help residents transition to clean heating and cooling technologies—primarily air source heat pumps. The program connects participants with trained Energy Advisors who provide education about heat pumps, explain the benefits, suggest possible heat pump solutions for particular situations, and ultimately guide participants through the process of transitioning their home to clean heating and cooling. Through the program, residents can also access a vetted list of heat pump contractors and can take advantage of Abode’s quote comparison tool.
The program officially launched in January of 2023, and has taken off. After an educational launch event for the program on January 4, 15 people signed up in the first week alone. The outpouring of interest in the program is likely bolstered by the availability of significant financial incentives, including:
- A $10,000 state rebate for air source heat pumps ($16,000 for income-qualified applicants)
- A $15,000 state rebate for ground source heat pumps ($25,000 for income-qualified applicants)
- A $2,000 federal tax credit for heat pumps
- The Mass Save HEAT Loan (0% interest loan up to $50,000)
Of the 100 households that have signed up to date, 57% use oil as their primary heating fuel, 35% use natural gas, 4% use propane, and 4% already have heat pumps.
Not only is the program drawing interest from residents, but it is also delivering results. Twenty HeatSmart participants have already signed contracts or completed installations for heat pumps, with dozens more working through the process. Half of those installs are conversions from oil heating, providing tremendous emission reductions and cost savings for those residents.
If Lexington is to meet its goal of community wide net zero emissions by 2050, reducing emissions in the building sector is critical as buildings make up 69% of our emissions. To remain on target, we need to be converting between 500 and 600 homes a year to heat pumps. With four additional HeatSmart Energy Advisors joining the team this summer, Lexington HeatSmart will expand its capacity to be a driving force in accelerating that transition.
Keep the momentum going and sign up for a consultation today at the Lexington HeatSmart website.