High-efficiency Heat Pump Program (HHPP)

couch heat pump

On July 28, Governor Dan McKee, joined by the Office of Energy Resources (OER), announced the High-efficiency Heat Pump Program (HHPP). The program will provide financial incentives for highly efficient electric heat pumps to both residential and commercial customers and is expected to become available to the public in the winter of 2023. HHPP builds upon an existing incentive for heat pumps that is smaller in scope with limited eligibility.

The adoption of electric heat will assist Rhode Island in the fight against climate change and to achieve the mandatory greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction goals outlined in the 2021 Act on Climate. The Act on Climate requires a 45 percent reduction in the State’s GHG emissions by 2030, leading to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Currently, the thermal sector – technology that converts power into heating or cooling – accounts for one-third of statewide greenhouse gas emissions.

OER has been allocated $25 million dollars from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), through the enacted FY23 State Budget, to develop an incentive program for heat pumps. At least 40 percent of funds shall be used to provide incentives to disadvantaged communities, to conform with federal program guidelines.

There will be four categories of the HHPP:

  • The Residential Incentive will be available to all Rhode Island customers who currently use fossil fuel heating and cooling appliances.
  • The Enhanced Incentive will provide additional funds to low-income and disadvantaged customers.
  • The Community Incentive will be available to Rhode Island small businesses, non-profits, community organizations, and public buildings.
  • The Workforce Development incentive will provide opportunities to scale up and further train the clean HVAC industry. 

These incentives aim to assist a wide range of customers by lowering the cost of heat pumps to help replace the need to burn fossil fuels for heating and cooling. Heat pumps move heat from outside to inside (in heating mode) or indoors to outdoors (in cooling mode). Heat pumps provide heating and cooling that is three times more efficient than fossil fuel burning appliances, while providing whole home climate control. In addition to providing heating, these systems are ideal for replacing inefficient window AC units or older central heating and cooling technologies.

If you are interested in receiving updates pertaining to this program and its development, please subscribe to the thermal sector mailing list.

Public Comments

During August 2022, OER opened a public comment period for HHPP's draft design. The items below contain the comments submitted to OER during this period, as well as a response from OER on the most common feedback we received from individual commenters.