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Heat Pumps & High Electric Bills


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I have been asked by 2 clients who live in a new development which there is no gas utility. (All Electric). I have done warranty inspections for them and realized the Developer/Builder is Not a Fly-By-Night Shyster.

They both have had Large power bills recently, due to the coldest winter we have had in the past 8 years. The contractor is offering them heat-pumps and installation for $1800, and the developer will flip for $700. I don't know what brand, make or model, that's not my concern. I'm really wondering; would installing a heat pump be efficient?

I've read a post from Oct 26, 06, relating H/P's to fuel heat sources, but if the furnace is already electric and the Temp could be below 30 degrees Jan-March, how effective could a H/P be?

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Low cost is relative to the cost of the energy. We have really low cost energy (Thank You TVA). At 8.6 cents a KW hour heat pumps are all around my area. Now once you have to activate the supplemental heat (conventional furnace. Either Elec or Gas) the cost savings go out the window.

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Temperatures below freezing really cut into the efficiencies, but basically since the heat pump moves heat around rather than just burning the energy like resistance heat or gas furnaces, you get about 3 time the heat that you pay for vs resistance heat. The units may not be much help during the extreme cold temps, but can save a bunch during the more moderate temps.


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