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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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One Million Heat Pumps (Part 2)


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More than half the homes in Maine and Vermont will have one by 2031

In June 2021, Oil & Energy published “One Million Heat Pumps,” a feature article on power grid operator ISO New England’s 2021 Heating Electrification Forecast. The article outlined, state by state and year by year, how more than 1.1 million electric heat pumps were expected to be installed by 2030.

On April 28, 2022, ISO New England published its Final 2022 Heating Electrification Forecast, with predictions through 2031. According to the forecast, 1,355,400 new air source heat pumps will be installed in the region between 2022 and 2031. This means that 24.3% of New England homes, nearly one in four, will have an air source heat pump by 2031.

As previously reported, New England states and their utilities are subsidizing installations of electric heat pumps. This trend has not just continued since 2021, but greatly increased, as this article will show. Figures for the ISO New England forecast’s yearly installation numbers are again provided by state officials and energy efficiency programs – the same programs that are paying customers to switch from heating oil and propane to electric heat pumps.

With that in mind, here is a look at ISO New England’s latest forecast numbers.

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State by State, Year by Year

In Connecticut, state officials predicted 3,500 heat pumps would be installed in 2022,  4,000 in 2023, 4,600 in 2024, 5,200 in 2025, 6,100 in 2026, 7,000 in 2027, 8,000 in 2028, 9,200 in 2029,  10,600 in 2030, and 12,100 in 2031, for a cumulative total of 70,100. That means about 6.2% of Connecticut homes will have an air source heat pump by 2031. Approximately 16% of these heat pumps will be full heating, meaning they will heat the home from October through April without a secondary heat source.

Massachusetts anticipates 21,100 heat pump installations in 2022, 24,300 in 2023, 42,000 in 2024, 59,600 in 2025, 75,500 in 2026, 89,400 in 2027, 103,600 in 2028, 114,300 in 2029, 121,900 in 2030, and 128,000 in 2031, for a cumulative total of 779,500 – by far the most of any state in the region. Approximately 28.9% of all homes in the Massachusetts will have a heat pump by 2031. State officials say 13% of additional heat pumps installed in 2022 will be for full heating, and foresee this growth percentage increasing each year up to 43% in 2031.

Maine’s numbers include 22,200 heat pumps installed in 2022, 22,900 in 2023, 23,500 in 2024, 24,300 in 2025, 25,000 in 2026, 25,700 in 2027, 26,500 in 2028, 27,300 in 2029, 28,100 in 2030, and 29,000 in 2031, for a cumulative total of 254,500. This means that by 2031, 54.3% of homes in Maine will have an electric heat pump. The amount of new heat pumps installed for full heating will grow 29% in 2022 and increase each year up to 83% in 2031.

Notably, Maine will have both the highest percentage of homes with a heat pump in 2031 and the highest annual growth in full heating installations.

New Hampshire sees 3,900 heat pump installations planned for 2022, with 20% annual growth planned through 2031. That amounts to 5,100 installations in 2023, 5,600 in 2024, 6,200 in 2025, 6,800 in 2026, 7,500 in 2027, 8,200 in 2028, 9,100 in 2029, 10,000 in 2030, and 11,000 in 2031, for a cumulative total of 73,400. By 2031, 13.9% of New Hampshire homes will have a heat pump, and 18% of additional heat pumps installed that year will be for full heating, with this share having increased 2% each year from 2022.

Rhode Island assumes a 20% annual growth in heat pump installations through 2031. There are 2,300 installations planned in 2022, 2,700 in 2023, 3,300 in 2024, 3,900 in 2025, 4,700 in 2026, 5,700 in 2027, 6,800 in 2028, 8,200 in 2029, 9,800 in 2030, and 11,800 in 2031, for a total of 59,300 new heat pumps. In 2031, 15.3% of Rhode Island homes will have a heat pump installed. The amount of new heat pumps installed for full heating will grow 13% in 2022 and increase each year up to 43% in 2031.

Like Maine, Vermont is extremely bullish on installations, with 51.4% of all homes in the state expected to have a heat pump in 2031. Vermont officials foresee 10,700 installations in 2022, 11,000 in 2023, 11,400 in 2024, 11,700 in 2025, 12,000 in 2026, 12,300 in 2027, 12,700 in 2028, 13,100 in 2029, 12,200 in 2030, and 11,500 in 2031, for a cumulative total of 118,600. The amount of new heat pumps installed for full heating is expected to grow 13% in 2022 and increase each year up to 43% in 2031.

Readers may note that the annual figures for Vermont are much higher than previously forecast. This could be due to state officials’ expectation that a Clean Heat Standard would be implemented there during the course of the forecast. However, as we now know, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon, as the governor vetoed the Clean Heat Standard bill last month (see “No Clean Heat Standard for Vermont,” this issue). Time will tell whether or not the state’s annual forecasts are revised downward next year as a result.


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