Personally Speaking: Heat pumps are not the only answer

For years, people have been able to choose how they want to heat their homes.

Yet many local governments now want to limit your choice to only electric heat pumps at the expense of clean-burning fuels like propane and ultra-low-sulfur heating oil.

But heat pumps are not the only answer. We still rely on an aging electric grid that’s vulnerable to widespread power outages. Plus, more than 60% of the electricity generated in Pennsylvania is still sourced from coal and natural gas, which produce a lot of greenhouse gases.*

Most electric heat pumps are also notoriously inefficient when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing. That’s why even people who have added a heat pump to their home typically keep their boiler or furnace as a backup heat source. Those folks really appreciated having a failsafe heating system when we were hit with those two arctic air blasts last winter!

These rapid, mass-scale conversions to heat pumps will also put a tremendous new strain on our fragile electric grid. There is a well-justified fear that this will raise the risk of rolling blackouts during periods of extreme cold or oppressive heat — not to mention lead to sky-high electric bills!

That’s why it’s vital that we continue to rely on a diverse range of eco-friendly heating fuels so we can all achieve our shared goal of overcoming climate change. That’s a better idea than putting all our energy eggs into one fragile, not-so-clean electric basket.

Dave Talmage, General Manager