Fighting Extreme Temperatures with the Inflation Reduction Act

A new report from CLASP and the Regulatory Assistance Project shows how additional United States (US) policies can accelerate the adoption of energy efficient heat pumps.

Alexia Ross

The US has experienced extreme and dangerous freezing temperatures this winter – with dozens of deaths attributed to exposure to the bitter cold. Last summer saw sweltering heatwaves across the country shatter previous records.

Heat pumps help people and the planet

Heat pumps – an energy efficient, all-electric indoor space heating and cooling technology – are a key solution for controlling indoor temperatures, while reducing the use of fossil fuels like methane gas and oil.

In 2022, The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), became the biggest climate investment in US history. It funded electrification efforts to increase the widespread adoption of heat pumps, with the aim to make climate-friendly home temperature control accessible to all communities.

Additional policymakers’ action can drive adoption

According to a new report from CLASP and the Regulatory Assistance Project, the IRA funds are insufficient to increase heat pump adoption to the level needed. The research shows that although the IRA is projected to incrementally increase heat pump deployment this decade, complementary state level policies and initiatives could be the key to supercharging heat pumps implementation as a critical climate-solution.

The report outlines effective and proven tactics to drive heat pump adoption – including community engagement, energy efficiency and performance policies, workforce development and financing mechanisms. Hybrid heating, a strategy developed by CLASP and partners to introduce homeowners to heat pumps by pairing them with legacy heating systems, offers another path forward.

The report advises that state policymakers utilize a combination of these approaches to craft a winning strategy that drives familiarity, acceptance, and widespread adoption of heat pumps to make the best use of federal dollars. This would be a win for people and the planet.

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