Heat Pumps


Heat pumps provide energy-efficient heating and cooling and work well in cold climates. Switching to electric heat pump technology will reduce your fossil fuel usage. Burlington Electric Department offers rebates of up to 75% of installed cost. 

If you heat your building with natural gas – as most Burlingtonians do – you might not save money with an air-source heat pump; your electric bill could go up by more than your gas bill goes down.

Weatherize First. Field studies show that heat pumps work best in weatherized buildings. For very well-insulated and air-sealed buildings, heat pumps do not require a fossil fuel backup for operation in extremely cold outdoor temperatures.

Learn more about weatherization.

Contact BED Energy Services to get started with free, unbiased advice. We’ll walk you through the decision-making process and help you maximize your energy investments. 

Heat Pump Technologies Overview

On May 7, 2024, BED and Burlington 2030 District hosted a webinar with heat pump expert George Martin (President, LN Consulting), members of the BED Energy Services Team, and Steve Conant (Manager of The Soda Plant – a BED commercial customer and Burlington 2030 District property using advanced heat pump technology).

Which Heat Pump is Right For Me?

Mini-Split Heat Pump

  • Heats & cools specific rooms.
  • Ductless. Inexpensive to install.
  • Mini-splits can provide an easy-to-install heating and cooling solution for buildings without ductwork for rooms that were not previously conditioned.
  • Mini-splits can be more affordable than other heat pump system types, so can serve as a more accessible way for some building owners to strategically electrify and reduce their carbon footprint.
  • For cooling, a Mini-splits may cost 40% less to operate than room air conditioners of equivalent capacity.
  • Some of the latest Mini-splits models can provide space heating without fossil fuel backup at very low outdoor temperatures.
  • Mini-splits can last 12 – 15 years, depending on the installation location and exposure of the outdoor unit.

Mini-Split Heat PumpMini-Split Heat Pump

Centrally Ducted Heat Pump

  • Replaces or augments existing gas furnace & ducts
  • Can heat & cool entire home/building

Ducted heat pump systems use existing ductwork to distribute conditioned air for both heating and cooling to your entire building or home. They can also be retrofit to work with your existing furnace. Customers considering these systems should work with HVAC contractors with controls systems experience to program a Centrally Ducted Heat Pump system for effective and energy-efficient operation.

IMPORTANT: Centrally ducted heat pumps are classified as either Standard Performance Systems or High Performance Systems.

Standard Performance Systems Rebates

Nominal Size Your Contractor’s Point-of-Sale Discount  BED Online Rebate  BED Bonus for Qualifying Customers* 
≤2 ton $1,000 $0 $400
>2 ton to <4 ton  $1,500 $0 $400
≥4 ton  $2,000 $0 $400

High Performance Systems Rebates

High Performance Systems* perform better at lower temperatures displacing more fossil fuel usage.

Nominal Size Your Contractor’s Point-of-Sale Discount  BED Online Rebate  BED Bonus for Qualifying Customers* 
≤2 ton $1,000 $1,350 $400
>2 ton to <4 ton  $1,500 $3,950 $400
≥4 ton  $2,000 $5,450 $400

*Your system must appear on the NEEP Qualified Product List to receive this higher rebate. To see if you qualify, visit the NEEP QPL and filter the results as follows:

  • Ducting Configuration: “Singlezone Ducted, Centrally Ducted”
  • ENERGY STAR Certified: “ENERGY STAR V6.1 Cold Climate”
  • Eligible for Federal Tax Credit: “North”

Qualifying customers are eligible for a rebate of $400 per condenser. See Terms & Conditions for details.

Centrally Ducted Heat PumpCentrally Ducted Heat Pump

Air to Water Heat Pump

  • Replaces an aging gas boiler & baseboards
  • Can heat & cool entire home/building

Air to Water heat pumps work similarly to the heat pumps mentioned above but they circulate water for heating and cooling, and can provide domestic hot water. Hydronic distribution uses water as a heat transfer fluid to distribute heat.

Heat pumps can be retrofit to work with your existing boiler. Customers considering these systems should work with HVAC contractors with controls systems experience to program an Air to Water heat pump system for effective and energy-efficient operation.

Rebate: BED has increased the air to water heat pump incentives from a maximum total today of $5,000 to $12,500 to support local projects.

Air To Water Heat PumpAir To Water Heat Pump

Ground-Source Heat Pump

Or Geothermal Heat Pump GSHP

  • For new construction or extensive retrofits
  • Suitable for larger/community homes, commercial buildings

Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs), also called “geothermal” heat pumps, are a type of heat pump that exchange heat between a building and the ground or groundwater by circulating refrigerant between indoor equipment and an outdoor loop.

  • Lower and more predictable annual energy bills
  • Resilient and reliable comfort and efficient energy performance year-round
  • Emissions-free heating and cooling for low environmental impact
  • A low maintenance, long-term solution for space conditioning needs

More about Ground-Source Heat Pumps

Preferred Heat Pump Installer Network

Burlington Electric Department recognizes these important partners – all members of Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network – for their work and ability to deliver the highest-quality heat pump services to our customers. If you would like your company to be included on our list of preferred heat pump installers, please contact Jennifer Green at 802-865-7349 or jgreen@burlingtonelectric.com.

A. Cooper Mechanical
A. Cooper Mechanical
171 Leroy Rd
Williston, VT 05495
Benoure Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
34 Commerce Avenue
South Burlington, VT 05403

Bourne’s Energy
72 Lower Main St
Morrisville, VT 05661
(800) 326-8763
Building Energy
Building Energy
1570 South Brownell Road
Williston, VT 05495
Chuck's Heating & Air Conditioning
Chuck’s Heating & Air Conditioning
416 Roosevelt Hwy
Colchester, VT 05446
Energy Co-op of Vermont
Energy Co-op of Vermont
73 Prim Road
Colchester, VT 05446
Jack's HVAC
Jack’s Heating & Air Conditioning
797 US-7 South
Milton, VT 05468
Red Rock Mechanical
Red Rock Mechanical
339 Red Rock Road
Colchester, VT 05446
Robinson Mechanical, LLC
Robinson Mechanical, LLC
Swanton, VT 05478
Vermont Energy Contracting & Supply Corp
Vermont Energy Contracting & Supply Corp
188 Krupp Drive
Williston, VT 05495

Additional Heating & Cooling Products

BED partners with Efficiency Vermont on incentives for energy efficient products and appliances.

Important: ENERGY STAR Most Efficient products are of a higher efficiency standard than regular ENERGY STAR qualified products. Please be sure that the product you are buying is listed as “Most Efficient.”

Electric Panel Upgrades

With the growing popularity of heat pumps, electric vehicles, and other electric appliances, some Burlingtonians may soon reach the limits of their current electric panel. Upgrading your panel to accommodate your current and future needs — and help the city’s Net Zero Energy goal — requires some preparation. Burlington Electric Department can help you navigate this process.

Where To Begin

Call a licensed electrician. Any work done on your electric panel must be done by a licensed electrician. Burlington Electric Department recommends our partners in Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network. They have the expertise to deliver the highest-quality services to our customers. Note that workforce constraints are impacting contractor availability so we recommend contacting multiple professionals to compare pricing and project timelines.

Your electrician will contact Burlington Electric Department. Because your electric panel is inside your home (“behind the meter”), you will be responsible for hiring the electrician. However, you will still need to coordinate with BED on a few points like temporarily shutting off the power to your property while your electrician switches over from the old panel to the new panel. Your electrician is best qualified to speak to our team on your behalf.

There may be a charge from BED for the upgrade. In addition to your electrician’s fees, Burlington Electric Department may need to charge for the upgrades to our infrastructure to accommodate your property’s increased needs. This will be determined upon receiving and reviewing the Contractor Application submitted to BED by the electrician.


Several local credit unions are now offering exceptionally low rates on financing for panel upgrades in addition to their special rates on heat pumps and electric vehicles.

GMCU BED Renewable Energy Loan
Opportunities Credit Union Home Improvement Loan (EV)
Home Energy Loan (HP)
Vermont Federal Credit Union Energy Efficiency Home Improvement Loan
VSECU Home Energy Loan Program

Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program (WRAP)

The Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program (WRAP) allows homeowners and renters to finance qualifying weatherization projects like insulation and air sealing, as well as heat pumps and advanced wood heating systems, with repayment through a monthly charge on their utility bill. Learn more.