Solar-Powered Heat Pumps
Why choose heat pumps over oil and propane heat, or cooling with an air conditioner? Because heat pumps are better, and with them, you can lock in a cost for fuel that is equivalent to paying around $1/gallon of heating oil.
The Future of Heating and Cooling is Here
Modern heat pumps are fundamentally more efficient than older technologies like baseboard heating and air conditioning – making them the most cost-effective form of heating and cooling, all in one system.
How do Heat Pumps Work?
Heat pumps use electricity to extract heat from the outside air by reverse refrigeration, hence “air source.” They leverage the heat outside and move it into your home, rather than directly heating the indoor air. By moving heat, instead of making it, the heat pump can heat or cool a space up to 2-3x more efficiently than other electric heating/cooling equipment.
Mitsubishi Electric’s dramatic improvements in the low-temperature performance of their extensive line of heat pump systems have brought about rapid adoption in the Northeast. The latest generation of heat pumps can provide heating to temps as low as -17 Fahrenheit, making them quite capable of handling most of the coldest days and nights in New England.
Solar Powered Heat Pumps Mean Ultimate Flexibility and Savings
Heat Pumps convert outside air into heat or cooling using electricity, which ranges in price in our region from 14-17 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on your utility. That’s the equivalent of paying roughly $1.50/gallon of heating oil – an improvement versus the status quo for sure – but when you combine that heat pump with the locked-in lower rates of solar electricity, that price comes down to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour or roughly $1/gallon of heating oil. That’s an idea we can all warm up to!
|Fuel Source||Cost per Unit||Cost per Million BTUs||Cost to Heat Typical Home|
|Heat Pump Powered by Solar||$0.09 / kWh||$11||$1,023|
|Heat Pump Powered by Grid||$0.14 / kWh||$18||$1,706|
|Resistive Electric Powered by Solar||$0.09 / kWh||$26||$2,418|
|Natural Gas||$2.00 / therm||$26||$2,587|
|Propane||$2.50 / gallon||$35||$3,404|
|Heating Oil (2016 prices)||$2.70 / gallon||$30||$2,790|
|Heating Oil (2010 prices)||$3.70 / gallon||$41||$3,938|
|Resistive Electric Powered by Grid||$0.14 / kWh||$44||$4,489|
Based on fuel data and pricing from Maine Energy Office. Assumes typical oil boiler operating at 65% efficiency, propane, and natural gas at 85% efficiency, resistive electric at 95% efficiency and heat pump at 250% efficiency (COP of 2.5). Solar PV kilowatt-hour cost of 9 cents per kilowatt-hour over 25-year timeframe based on typical pricing economics of a 4kw + system. Economics are roughly the same in New Hampshire or Massachusetts, subject to the local cost of oil, propane, and electricity.
A grid-tied solar electric array is an ideal partner for a heat pump. State law allows you to bank excess solar power in the summertime to earn you bill credits, which can be cashed in for electricity in the wintertime to run your heat pumps. Think of it like a woodshed that stacks itself – you’re harnessing clean power from the sun and storing it for later, and in the meantime helping reduce peak demand on the grid by producing excess power in the summertime.
Air Source Heat Pumps are Great for Supplemental Heat for New and Existing Homes
The most popular application for heat pumps are in supplemental heating applications, similar to the way wood or pellet stoves are – we review house floor configurations and recommendation installation of one or more heat pumps in common areas of the home that area to a comfortable temperature. In this situation, you would keep an existing oil or propane equipment for backup, but for most of the heating season rely on the heat pump to do the heavy lifting.
The simplicity and reliability of heat pumps also make them a great choice for new homes, where the savings garnered by installing heat pumps instead of a traditional heating system can be used to install solar electricity for the home. By heating and cooling with electricity, and then using solar panels to generate electricity, you end up with a home that fully meets its own energy needs that costs less to operate than a conventional home.
State incentives are periodically offered for air source heat pumps, currently:
- Maine: Up to $1,500 Efficiency Maine rebate per household
- New Hampshire: $400 per 12k BTU outdoor unit through NHSaves.
- Massachusetts: $625+ per outdoor unit through the MassCEC rebate, $100-300 per indoor unit through the Mass Save rebates, and we can offer incredibly good financing through Mass Save’s HEAT Loan offerings.
Why Choose ReVision Energy as your Installer?
We’ve been installing and servicing Mitsubishi Electric Air Source Heat Pumps since 2011 when advances in solar energy and heating technology made it clear that banking solar electric generation in the summertime and using stored solar energy via heat pumps in the winter was the best approach to solar-powered heating.
Since then we’ve installed hundreds of heat pumps across Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, earning Mitsubishi Electric’s Elite Diamond Contractor designation that is awarded to installers with the highest level of training and experience.
We know Mitsubishi Electric’s products inside and out and we are certain of their ability to reliably provide comfort through all of the highs and lows that New England throws their way. Their heat pumps come with an industry-leading 12-year part and compressor warranty on single-family, residential installations, and a 5-year parts and 7-year compressor warranty on multi-family and commercial installations.
Between Mitsubishi Electric’s high-performance technology and our technical excellence and legendary customer service, ReVision Energy offers the best solar-powered heating and cooling solutions in the region.
With heat pumps, it’s scientifically proven that quality matters when it comes to installation.