The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains has awarded Johnson Controls a $33 million grant to help increase domestic production of electric heat pumps. The company will use the grant to expand three U.S.-based manufacturing sites in San Antonio, TX; Wichita, KS; and Waynesboro, PA. Combined, these facilities will be able to produce approximately 200,000 electric heat pumps per year, representing a nearly 200% production increase. This substantial volume will help drive energy affordability and energy security, while helping combat climate change and creating new jobs.
“We are thrilled to participate in this program and help drive the enormous impact it will have on energy security, reliability and affordability while achieving unprecedented progress in slashing carbon. We also are excited to create 1,000 new family sustaining jobs – a great boost for the communities we call home,” said Katie McGinty, vice president and chief sustainability and external relations officer, Johnson Controls.
The grant is part of the first award from DOE’s authorization by the Biden Administration to utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase domestic production of five key clean energy technologies, including heat pumps. The Johnson Controls’ project expands production of its York product line. Johnson Controls is partnering with local unions, economic development groups, and community colleges to expand internship, apprenticeship and long-term full time job opportunities.
Upon completion, Johnson Controls estimates the initiative will save 1.63 million metric tons of CO² emissions from residential heating and 25 million metric tons from commercial and industrial heating per year — the equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from more than 5.5 million gasoline-powered vehicles driven for one year. The investment also will highlight the versatility of heat pump applications, which, in North America, have historically been concentrated in the residential sector.
“As we move toward achieving nation-wide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it is critical that our commercial, institutional and industrial sectors have the technologies necessary for effective decarbonization,” McGinty added. “Some of our heat pumps will help homeowners cut their energy bills, while others can play a major role in commercial industries. For example, we already are working with large scale institutions on heat pump deployments that will cut emissions by more than 70% and costs by more than 60%.”
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Johnson Controls’ heat pumps use electricity to efficiently move heat, rather than burn fuel. This makes heat pumps, which transfer three to eight times more working energy than they consume, a critical tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting costs. Johnson Controls offers a comprehensive range of heat pumps for residential, commercial, and industrial applications, and was recently recognized on Fortune’s 2023 Change the World list for innovative and transformative heat pump technology.
Additionally, Johnson Controls’ ongoing workforce development programs across the country are helping prepare workers for these high-demand and critical careers, like electric heat pump production, installation and servicing. This includes the company’s Community College Partnership Program, which is investing $15 million in 30 colleges across the U.S. to graduate students from historically underrepresented groups and support them in preparing for and embarking on career paths in sustainable building practices.