The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is conducting a heat pump field study during 2018 and 2019, throughout the Northwest region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana. The study—which focuses on homes that have had an air-source heat pump installed during the last three years—is designed to assess the state of the market and determine the average installation prices in the region. The study will include site visits of at least 168 homes.
Frequently asked questions:
- What is the purpose of the study? The purpose of the study is to better understand the current installation practices for air-source heat pumps. Your local utility and BPA seek to understand progress the region has made in adopting high efficiency, best-practice installation. To make this assessment, we need to examine heat pumps during in-home visits.
- Who is sponsoring this study? BPA is working on this study with your local utility.
- How are participants selected for the study? The research team randomly selected participants from a population of households that installed a new air-source heat pumps in the last three years, as indicated by public electrical- or mechanical-permit data. This information also contains your contact information, which will be used by field staff to visit qualifying single-family homes, townhomes (including duplex, triplex, and fourplex) and manufactured homes that meet the heat pump criteria.
- Is my personal information secure? Yes. All personal information, energy-use data and other provided information will be protected by the research team on a secured website. All research data will be presented in aggregate, and no reports published internally or externally will contain any personally identifiable information.
- What happens during an in-home visit? Field staff will collect measurements of the home and heat pump to assess the equipment size, settings and efficiency. They will inspect thermostat settings, measure the floor and window areas of the spaces in your home that are heated and cooled, and visually inspect accessible insulation levels in attics, crawlspaces and walls. Tests to determine air infiltration and leaks from doors, windows, walls and ducts will be conducted. Field staff will also tape over all your duct system registers, and close all the windows and doors to conduct a Blower Door test, which measures air leaks throughout your entire home.
- How long will the in-home visit take? The visit will take approximately four to six hours.
- Are the field staff from my utility? No. One or two field staff from SBW Consulting will visit your home to conduct the study. For added safety, photos and bios of the field staff are available on the SBW Consulting website at www.sbwconsulting.com/heat-pump-study/.
- Will I receive anything for my participation in the study? Yes. Participants who complete a web survey before being contacted by field staff will receive a $25 VISA gift card as a thank you. In-home visit participants will receive an additional $50 VISA gift card.
- How are participants selected for a home visit? Homes that meet the study criteria are randomly selected. Please note: Having an eligible home does not mean your home will be selected for an in-home visit.
- Can I participate if I am a renter? Yes. Renters can participate in the study and potential in-home visit with written approval from the legal homeowner.
- Who can I contact if I have more questions about the study? For more information, contact Phillip Kelsven, Bonneville Power Administration, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-230-4396.