Trade Ally Network Northwest

Heat pumps–maximum comfort and minimum costs

April 3, 2018 | Trade Ally Network NW

Upgrading an existing heat pump or installing a heat pump as part of a new construction project will help increase comfort for occupants and the value of commercial spaces. And, your local utilities may offer up to $1,000 per unit for qualifying heat pump upgrades in commercial buildings!

Upgraded heat pumps must be in an existing or new construction building and have electric heat. Buildings with gas or oil heat are not good applications for heat pumps and incentives are not provided in fuel switching applications.  However, small to medium-sized buildings that consume less than 600,000 kWh annually are great applications for new heat pumps.

Before you begin your heat pump upgrade, make sure your project follows these guidelines:

-For retrofits, the upgrade replaces an existing heat pump
-The application is eligible for a heat pump upgrade even if the space was previously conditioned by an air source, ground source, or ductless heat pump, so long as that piece of equipment is no longer working, and the space is currently conditioned by backup electric heat

Note that heat pumps are not generally suitable where the outdoor air temperatures are below freezing on a regular basis.

And to receive incentives, the heat pump must meet the following requirements after installation:

  • Less than 20 tons of cooling capacity
  • Be an air-to-air heat pump system
  • Meet BPA Tier 1 or Tier 2 efficiency requirements per the BPA Heat Pump and VRF Specification located on the BPA website here.

Because weather can play a factor, heat pumps should not be used in locations where the outdoor air temperatures are below freezing on a regular basis.