Air-Source Heat Pump Rebate Program

Naperville Electric Utility residential customers who install replacement energy-efficient air-source heat pumps may be eligible to receive a rebate. 

Apply for an Air Source Heat Pump Rebate

  • The program will end when all available funding has been awarded.
  • The rebate is based on the AHRI Certificate's Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which measures the unit's cooling efficiency, and the Heat Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), which measures the efficiency during the heating season. 
  • Heat pumps must have a minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of 16 or greater and a Heat Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of at least 8.8.
  • Air-source heat pumps with SEER of 16, SEER2 of 15.2, & HSPF of 8.8, HSPF2 of 7.5 receive a $500 rebate.
  • Air-source heat pumps with SEER of 18, SEER2 of 17.2, & HSPF of 9.0, HSPF2 of 7.7 receive a $600 rebate.
  • If the SEER/HSPF and SEER2/HSPF2 unit ratings are both listed on the AHRI Certificate, the SEER/HSPF ratings will be used to calculate the incentive. 
  • Completed applications must be received within 120 days of installation date.

Who's Eligible?

Rebate applicants must be Naperville residential electric customers and the owners or renters of their residence. There is a limit of one rebate per household.

What Do I Need to Do?

  1. Purchase and have installed an air-source heat pump. All replacement makes and models meeting the AHRI Certified SEER and HSPF ratings are included in the rebate.
  2. Fill out the rebate application via the link above which will direct you to the GOVQA portal.  

All residential incentive applications must be submitted via the City's GOVQA portal.  You will need to create an account and password. If you already have an account you'll be directed to the GOVQA login.  Once you login, the specific incentive program application will display.  

Once an application has been verified and the rebate application is fully processed, customers will receive a one-time credit on their utility bill within two months. Rebates will be offered until all funding is allocated.

Here are some tips for applying.

What is a Heat Pump?

(Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy)

A heat pump's refrigeration system consists of a compressor and two copper or aluminum coils (one indoor and one outside), which have aluminum fins to aid heat transfer. In heating mode, liquid refrigerant in the outside coil removes heat from the air and evaporates into a gas. The indoor coil releases heat from the refrigerant as it condenses back into a liquid. A reversing valve, near the compressor, can change the direction of the refrigerant flow for cooling mode as well as for defrosting the outdoor coil in winter.

The efficiency and performance of today's air-source heat pumps is a result of technical advances such as the following:

  • Thermostatic expansion valves for more precise control of the refrigerant flow to the indoor coil.
  • Variable speed blowers, which are more efficient and can compensate for some of the adverse effects of restricted ducts, dirty filters, and dirty coils.
  • Improved coil design.
  • Improved electric motor and two-speed compressor designs.
  • Copper tubing, grooved inside to increase surface area.

Selecting a Heat Pump

Every residential heat pump sold in this country has an EnergyGuide label, which displays the heat pump's heating and cooling efficiency performance rating, comparing it to other available makes and models.

Heating efficiency for air-source electric heat pumps is indicated by the heating season performance factor (HSPF), which is a measure over an average heating season of the total heat provided to the conditioned space, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump system, expressed in watt-hours.

Cooling efficiency is indicated by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), which is a measure over an average cooling season of the total heat removed from the conditioned space, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump, expressed in watt-hours.

In general, the higher the HSPF and SEER, the higher the cost of the unit. However, the energy savings can return the higher initial investment several times during the heat pump's life. A new central heat pump replacing a vintage unit will use much less energy, substantially reducing air-conditioning and heating costs.

To choose an air-source electric heat pump, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. In warmer climates, SEER is more important than HSPF. In colder climates, focus on getting the highest HSPF feasible.

These are some other factors to consider when choosing and installing air-source heat pumps:

  • Select a heat pump with a demand-defrost control. This will minimize the defrost cycles, thereby reducing supplementary and heat pump energy use.
  • The location of the outdoor unit may affect its efficiency. Outdoor units should be protected from high winds, which can cause defrosting problems. You can strategically place a bush or a fence upwind of the coils to block the unit from high winds.

Performance Issues with Heat Pumps

Heat pumps can have problems with low airflow, leaky ducts, and incorrect refrigerant charge. There should be about 400 to 500 cubic feet per minute (cfm) airflow for each ton of the heat pump's air-conditioning capacity.

Efficiency and performance deteriorate if airflow is much less than 350 cfm per ton. Technicians can increase the airflow by cleaning the evaporator coil or increasing the fan speed, but often some modification of the ductwork is needed.

Refrigeration systems should be leak-checked at installation and during each service call. Split-system heat pumps are charged in the field, which can sometimes result in either too much or too little refrigerant. Split-system heat pumps that have the correct refrigerant charge and airflow usually perform very close to manufacturer's listed SEER and HSPF. Too much or too little refrigerant, however, reduces heat-pump performance and efficiency.

A new heat pump unit's SEER and HSPF are determined based on the model of the heat pump’s indoor cased coil, with which the new heat pump unit is installed. The incentive is based on the customer's submittal of the appropriate Air-Conditioning, heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) certificate.

What is SEER and SEER2?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, measures your heat pump system’s energy efficiency during the cooling season by calculating the cooling output divided by the amount of electric energy input. The higher the SEER, the greater the energy efficiency of your heat pump cooling system. The Department of Energy suggests, when purchasing a heat pump unit, to look for at least a SEER of 15.

SEER2 rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2.  This is the new main energy efficiency ratio introduced by the U.S Department of Energy in 2023 and forward. SEER2 is similar to SEER but requires harsher equipment testing conditions. SEER2 ratings are about 4.5% lower than equivalent SEER ratings. 

What is HSPF?

Heat Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), measures your heat pump system’s energy efficiency during the heating season by calculating the ratio of heat output (measured in BTUs) over the heating season to electricity used (measured in watt-hours). The higher the HSPF, the greater the energy efficiency of your heat pump heating system. The Department of Energy suggests, when purchasing a heat pump unit, to look for a HSPF of at least 8.5.