PSREC Heat Pump Programs Can Save You Money

Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative still offers rebates to help offset the cost of installing new air- and ground-source heat pumps.

Heat pumps are a proven alternative to standard heating and cooling systems. They operate efficiently because they move or transfer heat instead of creating it, while providing three to four times more energy than they consume in electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Compared to electric resistance heaters, air-source heat pumps typically use 3,000 less kilowatt-hours a year (or $420), according to the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. When compared to oil systems, the savings are even greater at 6,200 kWh (or $868).

Despite the more expensive upfront cost, the U.S. Department of Energy says heat pumps can reduce overall home heating and cooling costs as much as 40 percent. When shopping for an air-source heat pump, compare heating seasonal performance factor (HSF) for compressor and heating strength and the seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) for cooling abilities. HVAC rebates depend on both of these numbers meeting certain minimum requirements.

Building permits may be required for energy-efficiency projects. Contact your local building department prior to beginning work.

We encourage your participation in the program, and look forward to continuing to offer our members energy efficiency rebates. Visit our Energy section or call 530-832-4261 to learn more.

Rebate Requirements and Amounts

Type Existing Condition Final Condition Rebate
Room Air Conditioner Standard Efficiency Unit ENERGY STAR Qualified $75 per Unit
Central Air Conditioner Standard Efficiency Unit Minimum 15 SEER and 12.5 EER $25 per Ton
Minimum 17 SEER and 13 EER $50 per Ton
Minimum 19 SEER and 14 EER $75 per Ton
Ground Source Heat Pump Standard Efficiency Unit Energy Star Rated $600 per Ton
Air Source Heat Pump Standard Efficiency Unit Minimum 14 SEER and 8.0 HSPF $100 per Ton
Minimum 16 SEER and 8.4 HSPF $250 per Ton
Minimum 18 SEER and 9.5 HSPF $350 per Ton

Local HVAC Contractors

PSREC does not endorse contractors.

  • Heat Transfer Systems (Jason Blust)
  • Integrity Heating and Air (Frank Encoff )
  • Madden Plumbing and Heating (Jim Madden)
  • Sierra Air (Reno)

Types of Heat Pumps

There are three main types of heat pump systems. Use the information below to determine the system that’s best suited for your climate and home.

Air-Source Heat Pumps

air source heat pump illustration

  • Most commonly used heat pumps
  • Moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel like combustion heating systems do
  • Can reduce heating costs by about 50 percent when compared to baseboard heaters or electric furnaces
  • Newer, more efficient systems now represent a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions like the Northeast and Midwest.
    Note: If temperatures in your area drop below
    10 to 25 F, you will need an auxiliary heating system (depending on the size of the system).

Geothermal Heat Pumps

geothermal heat pump illustration

  • More expensive to install but provide more energy savings for heating and cooling
  • Move heat through pipes buried underground
  • When compared to a conventional heating system, can reduce energy use by 25 to 50 percent
  • Effective in extreme climates
  • Not ideal for smaller lots and certain soil conditions

Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pumps

Ductless mini-split heat pump illustration

  • Easier to install, quiet, small in size
  • Flexible for heating and cooling individual rooms and smaller spaces
  • No energy loss through ductwork,
    which accounts for more than 30 percent of a home’s energy use for space heating/cooling.
  • Installation can be pricey, but federal incentives may be available

Heat pump systems should be installed by a licensed professional. Contact your local electric cooperative for more information about options and potential incentives.

Sources: Dept. of Energy and Consumer Reports