Washington State will require new homes and apartments to have heat pumps installed from July 2023, the State Building Code Council ruled on Friday.
In April, the Council passed a measure requiring that heat pumps be installed in new commercial buildings and large apartment buildings.
This heat pump mandate now covers all residential dwellings, and that makes Washington State a leader in having some of the most robust building codes in the US to require electrical appliances and thus reduce emisisons.
In a May 2019 policy brief, Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) wrote:
While statewide emissions have grown 10% overall since 1990, building emissions have jumped by 50%, more than any other source in our state.
As of 2020, 56% of Washington residents used electricity for heating, and 37% of residents used natural gas or bottled, tank, or LP gas.
The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act provides $4.5 billion of direct rebates for heat pumps for low and moderate income households under the High Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA). A low-income household will receive a rebate that covers the full cost of a heat pump installation for space heating, up to $8,000.
And under the The Energy Efficient Home Improvement credit, “Households can deduct 30% of the costs for buying and installing a heat pump water heater or heat pump for their space heating and cooling, up to $2,000,” according to Rewiring America.
An air-source electric heat pump uses refrigerant to pull heat from cold outdoor air and transfers it indoors when it’s cold, and it pulls heat out of the warm indoor air to cool your home when it’s hot outside.
New homes in Washington State are going to save money up front due to rebates and tax credits and they will also save money in the long run, as heat pumps reduce electricity consumption by up to 50%. Emissions will be cut as well.