While all attention is focused on accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions, one tech hero is increasingly falling under the radar: Heat pump. Instead of burning natural gas or coal to generate heat, it draws heat from an all-electric device. External airEven when it’s freezing outside—and pumps it inside to heat the structure. After years of stealthy, steady growth, there are heat pumps Now gas furnaces are being sold outside. In the United States, while EVs were calculated. just for 8 percent All US new vehicle sales in the first half of 2023.

In November, the Biden administration announced it would crack down on the domestic heat pump industry. $169 million in federal fundingIncreased ability to manufacture original equipment and its various components, such as compressors. The feds figured it would create 1,700 jobs in 13 states. Given the momentum in heat pump adoption since then, the Department of Energy is announcing an additional $63 million for the same purpose today. This time, the money also emphasizes heat pumps for heating and cooling water in the home.

Basically, federal funding is aimed at eliminating gas use in the home wherever possible, working toward fully electric residences. “We’re really seeing, I think, a sea change across the country in terms of how people heat and cool their homes,” says Ali Zaidi, assistant to the president and national climate adviser. “For a really long time, we’ve been staring at the building sector, wondering if we could have a widget to decarbonize our homes and the places where we work. We found that tool.”

The humble heat pump is so much more efficient than a gas furnace that even if you’re forced to power off a fossil-fueled grid, you’re still better off. According to An estimate, switching to a heat pump will save the average American household more than $550 a year. Inflation Reduction Act 2022 Provides thousands of dollars. For a home to go to a heat pump, in the form of a tax credit or rebate.

As with the first round of funding last year, the administration is requesting the Defense Production Act — a lengthy piece of legislation that gives the president the authority to ensure the supply of materials needed for national defense. He is being invited here specifically on the basis of climate change. “As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis, these Defense Production Act dollars will further expand domestic heat pump manufacturing to meet growing consumer demand, emissions could be reduced, and create clean energy jobs across the country,” the US wrote. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Greenholm said in a statement provided to Wired.

More specifically, heat pumps offer energy security: they are fully electric, so you can run them on a grid that is powered by renewable sources like wind and solar, ideally produced in the US. are done. Reducing emissions by decarbonizing buildings with heat pumps will also slow climate change, reducing the intensity of rapidly catastrophic events. Forest fire, sea ​​storm, and other disasters. Knowing every bit of temperature extremes we can avoid will save money.

“Energy and climate protection, we recognize that these two things are impossible to connect at the moment,” says Zaidi. “The real premise here is to recognize that our national security depends on solutions that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Zaidi added that heat pumps are also good for economic security. Supercharging the domestic production of entire heat pumps and their individual components provides many jobs. Individual states are also working hard to increase adoption and bolster the industry: Just last week, Nine of them Committed to having heat pumps for 90 percent of residential heating, air conditioning, and hot water delivery by 2040.

The move would find workers to assemble things in one factory, and more trained technicians to install things around the country. To that end, this new funding allows applicants to use a portion of the money to develop their manufacturing facility workforce to increase production. “We feel really confident that we’re continuing to invest in the ability to not only build this stuff, but to deploy it in a way that really promotes good-paying jobs across the country,” Zaidi says. Found.”