How have you been fairing in all this cold weather? We’d love to see all Grays Harbor County residents warm and comfortable in their homes without having to pay a fortune to heat them!
One way we at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor are encouraging this is by partnering with the Grays Harbor PUD to offer free ductless heat pumps to income-qualified Grays Harbor residents. Maybe you – or some folks you know – are eligible!
Since 2016, we’ve been working with the PUD’s Power and Energy Services Department to provide this service, which fits nicely into our mission as a housing agency. And, with the help of local contractors, during these last four years we’ve installed about 350 ductless heat pumps, most totally free of charge, to Grays Harbor residents.
Not only do the residents receive a new heating source for their home at no cost to them, but they also typically save money on their monthly energy bill – sometimes a lot of money.
“This ductless heat pump program has had a large impact in the community and with our customers,” said Melinda James-Saffron, director of Power and Energy Services. “The program is working quite well. I’m pretty happy with it!”
We wholeheartedly agree with Melinda from our vantage point as well! And, we sure hear stories of satisfied residents who love the cozy heat source – and the price!
In 2015, the Grays Harbor PUD piloted the low-income ductless heat pump program. The pilot was so successful that the PUD Board voted to continue the program these last four years.
“This program is mutually beneficial,” Melinda said. “Not only does it help participants, it also helps the PUD achieve our target for the ‘renewable portfolio’ standard that is mandated under state law.”
“We selected ductless heat pumps for this program because they are so well suited to our climate and there was already a growing interest in them. In addition, it had the biggest bang for the buck in how many people we could help and how much energy could be saved,” she said.
HOW IT WORKS
The technology of any heat pump basically recovers heat from the outside air and transfers it via a closed-loop refrigerant gas to the air handler inside your house. The air handler blows circulating air through the air handler’s radiator coil that was heated by the gas and delivers warm air throughout the house. In a ducted system, the warm air goes through your ducts and floor vents.
Ductless heat pumps are just as they sound, not utilizing any duct work to convey the heated or cooled air – making them relatively simple to install in most homes.
In the summer, it will do the reverse – drying out the indoor air and pulling the heat out of the air from inside the house and blowing it off outside at the exterior heat pump. The returning air feels cool, providing you with a nice, air-conditioned space.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?
To be eligible to receive a ductless heat pump through this program, the following criteria must be met.
The household’s total income cannot exceed 200 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines. (More specifics on that below.)
Mobile homes built after June 15, 1976 and single family homes are eligible.
The home must not be in need of major structural or health and safety-related repairs.
The primary source of heat in the home should be permanently installed electric heat. And the residents must be current Grays Harbor PUD customers. There must be a clear indication of an electric heating signature from previous usage.
The home must be at least one year old, occupied year round.
Both homeowners and tenants (with owner approval) may apply.
The low-income household eligibility is defined in the Federal Weatherization Assistance Program as up to 200 percent of the federal poverty income level. The 2020 figures for that weren’t available for this blog. However, to give you an idea, here are the 2019 figures:
For a household of one, the income can be no more than $24,980 annually.
For a household of two, the annual income lid is $33,820.
For a household of three, the annual income lid is $42,660.
For a household of four, the annual income lid is $51,500.
For a household of five, the annual income lid is $60,340.
For a household of six, the annual income lid is $69,180.
For a household of seven, the annual income lid is $78,020.
For a household of eight, the annual income lid is $86,860.
GIVE US A CALL
If you think you may be eligible to receive a heat pump or have questions about the program, give us a call at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor at (360) 533-7828 and ask for Pat or leave a message. We are in the office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us at our website at www.nwghc.org.