Green Mountain Power is kicking off a pilot program that will offer customers a new way to heat their homes.
GMP will be installing air-source heat pumps into 200 houses and small businesses. The pumps are commonly used in Europe, but are new to the Vermont. The pumps work by compressing cool air from the outside into a hot liquid, and then blowing that heat throughout the house. GMP officials say they expect the pumps to provide customers a net savings of 20-50 percent for all their heating expenses.
"It's less expensive on a total lifecycle basis. So, if you think about the first capital cost and then the operating costs over the years, this is the cheapest way to heat your house. And it's very renewable, not 100 percent, but very close. So, it's very clean and inexpensive," said Bruce Bentley of GMP.
The pumps run on electricity at a fraction of the cost of heating fuels.
Customers can contract to rent the units from GMP for 15 years at $45-$50 a month. And GMP will pay the $2,000 installation fee.