Electrify Your Home:
HOW HEAT PUMPS WORK
Cold-climate heat pumps cut costs and energy consumption by efficiently moving heat rather than making it. To provide heat, a heat pump works by extracting heat from the air outside of your home and transferring it to refrigeration coolant--the coolant is then compressed, which increases the temperature significantly; the coolant is then moved to the indoor unit of the heat pump, which then passes air over the hot coolant, increasing its temperature to accommodate the thermostatic call for heat inside the home.
WHY HEAT PUMPS ARE EFFICIENT
Heat pumps are extremely efficient in their operation. Because a heat pump uses electricity only for power rather than for the generation of heat, it offers a remarkably high efficiency rate. When using traditional resistive electric heat--such as electric baseboard or space heaters, for instance—the amount of heat generated is proportional to the amount of electricity used: one unit of heat per unit of electricity, for 100% efficiency.
With a heat pump, the efficiency rate goes up dramatically because the electricity consumed is used to power only the two fans (evaporator and condenser), compressor, and pump to concentrate heat outside and bring it into your home. Heat pumps are capable of providing more than 3 units of heat for every unit of electricity used, for efficiency rates over 300%.
WHY HEAT PUMPS ARE CLEAN
Electric devices and systems are, in carbon/climate terms, as clean as the grid that supplies them.
According to Energy Acton Network, "Nearly all of the GHG emissions from Vermont’s electricity consumption are attributable to that portion of electricity that we source from the regional system mix through ISO-NE." Since 2010 the renewability of that system mix has increased and, more importantly, since 2017 the system mix portion of Vermont’s electricity portfolio has decreased. Vermont is rated with the least carbon intensive electricity sector in the U.S.
If you combine residential solar with your heat pump, then you have a simple, direct calculation of how clean your electricity is.