This edition’s spotlight is focused on a customer from Belmont, Becky, who recently installed a second heat pump system in her home to replace her existing boiler. About two years ago, Becky took advantage of the Belmont Light heat pump rebate and took out a zero-interest loan to install an air-source heat pump system to heat the first floor of her two-story condo home. Despite some minor issues immediately following install, she found that her heat pump did a great job at maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures and appreciated that it could always be left on. Recently, when looking to replace the existing boiler system used to heat the second floor, she immediately considered heat pumps. 

When working with contractors the second time around, Becky really appreciated having prior experience with heat pumps. She believes that home alteration projects should always be a collaborative process where homeowners can draw on the technical expertise of contractors who are receptive to learning about specific details of the home that only the homeowner is intimately familiar with. Becky also mentioned that the final heat pump system design would have been very different had she completely replaced the home heating system the first time around, which is something she appreciated. “Replacing my existing heating system over time helped me understand how heat pumps work and identify areas in need of improvement,” said Becky. This could be a successful model for homeowners who are looking to replace their entire heating system but are hesitant to commit to a heat pump-only solution. 

Becky’s only gripe with the entire process was that she found that some of the administrative and informational barriers pertaining to heat pumps to be unnecessary, which she noticed had deterred even some of her environmentally-conscious neighbors from making the switch to heat pumps. “I spent a lot of my time doing research and noticed that there is no resource where I could get all the information I needed in a simple format,” she said. She understands that the onus of educating customers should not always fall on the contractor, but for some customers, contractors are the first point of contact. She suggests that customers would be better equipped to proceed with projects if contractors were aware of resources that customers could use to learn more about heat pumps and ask the right questions. Based on this feedback, contractors should direct customers towards either the NEEP Buying Guide or Abode’s no-cost consultation services to increase transparency and improve the customer experience.