Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced the Heat Pump Energy Assistance and Training (HEAT) Act to support the increased use of industrial heat pumps in rural areas. The HEAT Act would create a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to support the deployment.
Funding would come from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America (REAP) program, which received an increase of $1.2 million under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The HEAT Act is designed to help the USDA provide technical assistance and guidance on heat pump installation and usage, thereby facilitating the electrification of on-farm energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“This bill will help our rural businesses, farms, and ranches access heat pumps with support from USDA—that’s good for the planet and for farms’ and businesses’ bottom lines,” said Senator Welch. “I’m proud to join Sen. Marshall to introduce this important bipartisan bill.”
“Farmers and ranchers are constantly looking for ways to decrease volatility in input costs and the use of industrial heat pumps could help on farm resiliency, especially when cold weather drives up the cost of propane,” said Senator Marshall. “The HEAT Act would direct the USDA to ensure they have the appropriate materials to help educate and train folks on the availability and use of on-farm industrial heat pumps.”
Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy said commercial scale heat pumps small businesses in rural areas reduce volatile energy costs and cut carbon emissions.
This Act follows the recent Department of Energy announcement that it is committing $250 million to domestic heat pump manufacturing. Governed by the Inflation Reduction Act, the funding is to be used to build a clean energy economy, create new manufacturing jobs and helping families save money on their energy bills.
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