The German government is among the fans. “This is the technology of the future,” Robert Habeck, the minister for the economy, told reporters last month while announcing a government plan to promote heat pumps. “To achieve our goals, we want to get to six million customers by 2030,” Mr. Habeck said….
The cost for the electricity needed to power a heat pump is about 35 percent cheaper than natural gas, according to Verivox, a company that compares energy prices for German consumers. The savings are even greater for those who can run their heat pumps off solar panels…. Sales of heat pumps in Germany have more than doubled in the past two years, especially as the price of gas has soared…. To encourage people to make the change, the government is offering subsidies that can cover up to a quarter of the upfront price of a unit, along with subsidies for other energy-efficiency improvements up to a total of €60,000.
Germany lags far behind its European neighbors, where imported natural gas was not as affordable or abundant. Residents of Finland and Norway, which rely more on electricity, have 10 times the number of heat pumps as do Germans, according to Agora Energiewende, a policy institute in Berlin. Even the Netherlands, which sits on its own wealth of natural gas but made a push for the more climate-friendly machines several years ago, has double the number of the units that Germany has.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.