VGS (Vermont Gas) is launching a new program to install electric heat pumps in its customers’ homes, providing attractive sales and leasing options so more Vermonters can reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy the benefits of these highly-efficient heating and cooling systems.

VGS’s new program is built around a centrally ducted heat pump concept that utilizes existing ductwork in a home. This configuration employs a smart thermostat to integrate a cold climate heat pump with a furnace. The heat pump is set as the primary heating source, while the gas furnace serves as an auxiliary backup system. The smart thermostat toggles between heat sources based upon outdoor temperature and the user’s desired comfort settings.

“For over five decades, VGS has helped our customers adapt new technology to make their homes and heating systems more efficient,” said VGS President & CEO Neale Lunderville. “Now we’re doubling our efforts to give customers sustainable choices and lead in the fight against climate change. Our job is to make the switch to heat pump technology easy. This type of heating solution is ideal to make the process seamless so more Vermonters can reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort or reliability.”

VGS estimates approximately 14,000 of its residential customers could be eligible for a centrally ducted heat pump system. This integrated energy solution makes for a seamless, user-friendly experience. In addition to reducing fossil gas that would otherwise be used for heating, the hybrid approach also transforms a home’s existing ductwork into a distribution network for cool air in the summer.

“VGS has worked to curate and select the best technology on the market for our centrally ducted heat pump program,” said Grace Amao, VGS Vice President of Customer & Energy Services. “If you have a forced air furnace in your home and are considering adding a heat pump, this is a great option. These systems are user-friendly, reliable, and are available with VGS’s flexible sales, leasing, and service options to fit every budget.”

The centrally ducted heat pump program expands on VGS’s low-carbon energy offerings. In 2021, VGS was the first U.S. gas-only utility to offer its customers electric heat pump water heater sales and leasing options. These programs are part of VGS’s comprehensive plan to reduce emissions in line with State Global Warming Solutions Act requirements. VGS is rapidly evolving its business model to reduce energy usage, increase access to the latest and most efficient in-home heating solutions, and displace fossil fuels with low- or no-carbon alternative supply.

“When paired with an existing or new furnace, centrally ducted heat pumps are a great option for residential heating and cooling needs,” said Lunderville. “That’s the type of solution our customers are looking for, and the team at VGS stands ready to help select the best fit for your home energy goals.”

VGS customers who warm their homes with a furnace can visit or contact VGS’s care team at (800) 639-2112 to learn more.