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The Economic Determinants of Heat Pump Adoption

The Economic Determinants of Heat Pump Adoption

Full Title: The Economic Determinants of Heat Pump Adoption
Author(s): Lucas W. Davis
Publisher(s): National Bureau of Economic Research
Publication Date: June 15, 2023
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

One concern with subsidies for low-carbon technologies is that they tend to go predominantly to high-income households. Previous research has shown, for example, that the top income quintile receives 60% of subsidies for rooftop solar and 90% of subsidies for electric vehicles. This paper finds that heat pumps are an important exception. Using newly available U.S. nationally representative data, the paper finds that there is remarkably little correlation between heat pump adoption and household income. Nationwide, 15% of U.S. households have a heat pump as their primary heating equipment, and adoption levels are essentially identical for all income levels ranging from the bottom of the income distribution (<$30,000 annually) to the top ($150,000+). Instead, the paper shows that heat pump adoption is strongly correlated with geography, climate, and electricity prices.

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