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Hickenlooper, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Expand Access to Clean, Affordable Heating and Energy

May 26, 2022

Legislation would incentivize production of high-efficiency, safe, and affordable heat pumps

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper joined six of his Senate colleagues in introducing the Heating Efficiency and Affordability Through Tax Relief (HEATR) Act, which would create a manufacturer tax credit to incentivize production of high-efficiency, safe, and affordable heat pumps. The bill would expand access to clean, affordable heating while lowering energy costs for consumers. 

“To cut emissions, we need to green home heating. To squeeze Putin, we need Europeans to stop using Russian natural gas. By spurring U.S. heat pump manufacturing we can lower emissions, cut European dependence on Russia, and create jobs at home,” said Hickenlooper.

Specifically, the HEATR Act will:

  • Expand access to clean, affordable heating solutions, making it easier for landlords to purchase more efficient technology that will allow more renters to benefit from the tax credit.
  • Transition the space and water heating market to provide clean, affordable, safe heat and hot water at no extra consumer cost.
  • Spur domestic job creation by requiring equipment to be manufactured in the U.S.
  • Make more efficient use of taxpayer dollars by targeting the tax credit to where it will have the biggest impact.

Because heat pumps transfer rather than generate energy, they represent an energy-efficient, affordable alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. According to the Department of Energy, heat pumps operate on average at 2-4 times the efficiency of a regular furnace or boiler, while reducing electricity usage by approximately 50% over traditional electric heating. According to HomeAdvisor, the average annual cost of heat pumps range between $260-$850 per year, drastically less than the annual costs for furnaces or other traditional heating systems. Further, given heat pumps operate solely on electricity, they are significantly more emissions-friendly compared to existing heating systems that depend on propane, fuel oil, or natural gas for energy. 

Hickenlooper was also part of a group of senators who requested funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP,) a program that assists households with energy costs including home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and energy-related minor home repairs. Hickenlooper also welcomed $50 million available to Colorado from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to support the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income households make weatherization improvements and upgrades to their homes to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. 

In addition to Hickenlooper, the bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, Sheldon Whitehouse, Patrick Leahy, Jeff Merkley, and Cory Booker. The bill has been endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Sierra Club, American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP), Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), Carbon Switch, Earthjustice, Rewiring America, and Minnesota Rural Electric Association.


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