Impact Investing | April 22, 2024

“I’m Your Heat Pump”: Cool when you want it, hot when you need it (video)

Cesar Chavez
ImpactAlpha Editor

Cesar Chavez

Electric heat pumps are five times more efficient than gas furnaces, saving homeowners money and reducing emissions that contribute to pollution and climate change. 

More than 17 million US homes already have central heat pumps (the Carolinas are in the lead), according to the US Energy Information Administration, even before most point-of-sale rebates kick in. Low- and moderate-income households can take advantage of tax credits that are part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

To educate the public about the benefits of heat pumps and home electrification, two Berkeley, Calif. musicians have created a song that makes the prosaic home appliance, well, sexy. The sultry single is written from the point of view of a heat pump itself and titled provocatively, “I’m Your Heat Pump. 

Mike Roberts is a volunteer for The Switch is On, a non-profit arm of the Building Decarbonization Coalition that promotes home electrification. Roberts quickly learned that distributing pamphlets and tabling at community events wasn’t his jam.

He decided to write a song extolling the virtues of heat pumps and approached his friend Will Hammond, Jr. Hammond is the vocalist on the R&B-inspired song.

I’m your heat pump

When you want it hot, I’m hot for you

(I’m your heat pump)

When you want it cool, I’m cool witchu, babe

‘Cause I can do it all for you, baby

All you got to do is turn me on

And I’ll go on and on for you (check me out)

“It’s a total earworm,” said Friday Apaliski of the Building Decarbonization Coalition. “This isn’t just a fun and catchy song. It’s also a technically correct song” that simply explains how the device works.

Mitsubishi Electric was so impressed, they sponsored a splashy music video featuring Roberts on guitar and Hammond singing “you and me plus electricity equals climactic healing.”

The musicians say educating people about solar, induction cooktops and heat pumps can be challenging because many homeowners are comfortable with their AC units or gas furnaces.

“What if we started with heat pumps? And then someone said, ‘hey, I’ve got this other product for you that runs on gas. It’s going to be cheaper up front but it’s more expensive to run and we’re gonna have to pipe this poisonous gas into your home. And if there’s an earthquake, it might explode.’ You wouldn’t make that trade,” Roberts said.

“It really takes everybody bringing their creativity to this movement in order to move forward,” said Apaliski. “For some folks that’s science, for others it’s policy or product creation. And in this case, it’s music and artistry.”

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