To The Editor:

I read Gayle Brown’s article, “Affordable Heat Act S.5 a Trojan horse for Vermont,” in the February 23 issue of The Valley Reporter, and I wish to comment on some significant inaccuracies.



Ms. Brown writes, “There are social and environmental injustices that go along with heat pumps. They are mainly ‘supplemental' systems at this time and in this climate. Some Vermonters will be able to afford and install these but others even with the incentives that will be marketed along with partial rebates will not be able to justify these given that a fossil fuel-based backup system is still required.”

Last year, my wife and I installed a Mitsubishi cold-climate heat pump as a replacement for our oil-fired, forced-air furnace. Our oil furnace was completely removed, so there is nothing “supplemental” about our new heating system. Our new heat pump is rated to -13°F, but we found that it was still producing heat at -20°F during last month’s cold snap. Our system does have an integrated electric resistance heater that would be used in the event the heat pump could not produce enough heat to maintain our home’s temperature, but we have yet to see that get used.

To date, our new system has worked perfectly. We maintain our home at 68°F from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., and then the temperature gets set back to 55°. Our system is far less costly to operate than our old oil-fired furnace, and with the present cost of firewood, running it is even less expensive than operating our wood stove, although we still enjoy having fires in the evening.

I can’t comment on the veracity of the rest of her remarks about S.5, but her claims, quoted above, are certainly contrary to our experience.

David Tanzer