National spotlight on CEE’s efforts to make home heating and cooling better and cheaper

Mar 2, 2022
ASHP outdoor

CEE’s Minnesota Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) Collaborative was featured recently in a new report showcasing best practices and programs in building electrification around the country.

The Minnesota ASHP Collaborative is a joint effort between Center for Energy and Environment and five Minnesota utilities to accelerate air source heat pump (ASHP) adoption across Minnesota. The goal of the Minnesota ASHP Collaborative is to ensure that by 2030 ASHPs are the first choice for contractors and homeowners replacing electric and delivered-fuel heating systems and air conditioners.

ASHPs are a highly efficient electric heating and cooling source with the potential to improve comfort and lower utility bills. In some cases, energy use can be decreased up to 55% after switching to an ASHP. They work by shifting heat energy based on whether you want your house warmer or cooler.

Similar to a standard air conditioner, ASHPs use a compressor and indoor and outdoor coils to change states of a chemical refrigerant and efficiently heat or cool indoor air. When you need to warm your house during winter, the ASHP essentially pulls heat energy from outside and uses the combination of refrigerant and condenser coils to transfer that heat to the inside. When you need to cool down in summer, the process reverses and transfers heat from inside to outside.

ASHP adoption is expanding in Minnesota partly due to the development of cold-climate ASHP technology. Cold-climate units are specifically designed to operate in sub-zero temperatures, giving heat pumps the potential to provide homes in cold climates with heat all winter.

To spread awareness and education about ASHPs, the Minnesota ASHP Collaborative offers a series of trainings for contractors on ASHP technology, field research, and installation best practices. They also offer contractors the opportunity to join the Preferred Contractor Network. This network connects qualified contractors to homeowners interested in ASHPs.

Heat pump technology is becoming a more common solution to electrify homes as the technology and market advances, and the Minnesota ASHP Collaborative is not alone in recognizing this opportunity. A recent report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) highlights the Minnesota ASHP Collaborative’s work, as well as many other programs across the country promoting ASHPs as a solution to single-family home electrification. You can read the full report here.

Related Links

Minnesota Air Source Heat Pump Collaborative

Building Electrification: Programs and Best Practices