People in many parts of the US rely on fossil gas to heat their homes during winter. Clean, all-electric heat, such as from heat pumps, is otherwise unaffordable to many low-income people, due to the higher upfront costs compared to a fossil gase furnace. We spoke to Sarah Moskowitz, the Executive Director at the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois, a ratepayer advocacy organization, about Chicago’s pioneering effort to support lower-income residents with accessing cheap, accessible all-electric heating.
Heat pumps are a more sustainable and efficient way to heat homes than to conventional gas heat, but they’re often too expensive for homeowners to install. Meet the GeoGrid, an underground geothermal heat pump network that could make the technology more efficient and accessible. Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) is a nonprofit working with utilities to develop GeoGrids in residential neighborhoods. We spoke to HEET Executive Directors Audrey Schulman and Zeyneb Magavi about heat pumps and the advantage to connecting them via a GeoGrid approach.