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New York Times: Why Mainers Are Falling Hard for Heat Pumps

March 2, 2024
The New York Times covers how Maine climate policies and incentives are rapidly expanding heat pump installations across the state.

“Unlike a space heater, a heat pump extracts heat from outside air, even in subzero temperatures, and then runs it through a compressor, which makes it even hotter, before pumping it indoors. In the summer, it can operate in reverse, pulling heat from inside a building and pumping it outside, cooling the indoor spaces.


In 2023 heat pumps outsold gas furnaces in the United States for the second year running, a climate win. Electrical heat pumps are the cheapest and most energy efficient ways to heat and cool homes, and they do not emit the carbon pollution that is overheating the planet.


No state has adopted them faster than Maine.


That northeastern place of hardy types and snowbound winters is quickly going electric, installing electric heat pumps three times faster than the national average, according to Rewiring America, a nonprofit that promotes widespread electrical adoption. Last September, Maine met its goal of installing 100,000 heat pumps in households two years ahead of schedule, and is aiming to install another 175,000 by 2027.


Maine’s rapid adoption is being spurred by a combination of state rebates on top of federal incentives and a new cadre of vendors and installers, as well as mounting frustrations over the high cost of heating oil.”

About the Alliance

Launched on June 1, 2017 by the governors of Washington, New York, and California to help fill the void left by the previous administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the Alliance has grown to include 24 governors from across the U.S. representing approximately 60% of the U.S. economy and 55% of the U.S. population. Governors in the Alliance have pledged to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, at least 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and collectively achieve overall net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.


The Alliance’s states and territories continue to demonstrate that climate action goes hand-in-hand with economic growth, job creation, and better public health. While reducing emissions by 18% between 2005 and 2021, Alliance members grew their collective GDP by nearly 30%. The coalition’s states and territories are employing more workers in the clean energy sector, achieving lower levels of dangerous air pollutants, and preparing more effectively for climate impacts and executing more pre-disaster planning than the rest of the country.