Mike Cappuccio, owner of N.E.T.R., Inc., discusses the recent changes to the 2019 ductless rebates, including the Mass CEC rebates that ended March 20th, and changes to the Mass Save rebates to focus more on replacing electric heat and installing integrated controls. Listen to learn more about these important updates.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here with Mike Cappuccio owner of N.E.T.R., Inc., a heating and cooling company in Massachusetts with a focus on Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling products. Today we’re talking about the March 2019 Mitsubishi ductless rebates updates. Welcome Mike.
Mike Cappuccio: Good morning John. How are you?
Ductless Rebate Changes
John: Good thanks. So Mike, some changes happened regarding the Mitsubishi ductless rebates on March 20th. Can you explain what happened?
Mike: Yeah, John, there were some big changes that we knew were going to go away on March 20th, the Mass CEC rebates for the home owners, the last day that you could actually submit your rebates into the Mass CEC program, so that has now been abolished as of March 20th. So we cannot submit any more rebates into that system, so the systems needed to be installed by then. So that program has gone away now and thousands of dollars have been taken away from that particular program.
John: So for homeowners that maybe didn’t jump on that, and weren’t able to get those rebates from Mass CEC, where does that leave them in terms of the rest of 2019 and the rebates that are still available for ductless systems?
Mike: Well, now the changes, John, there’s been some bigger changes now, because Mass Save has now taken over the 2019 rebates. And they’ve broken this down into pretty much four different programs and it all depends really on what kind of fuel you have in your house and what type of controls you’d put in to integrate with the ductless system, would rely on now what kind of rebate you would get.
John: All right. So can you explain that a little bit?
Mike: Yeah. Okay so let me explain to you something here. Let’s say you were going to put in a single zone unit into your home. You were just going to just install one unit into your home or you just had gas heat in your house at this particular time and you didn’t want to put any integrated controls to run the ductless system with the outdoor ambient temperature, which I’ll get into later on in this podcast. But that is going to range anywhere from $113 up to possibly maybe as high as $500, $525, somewhere in that range, depending on the system that you’d put in.
So that’s for a single zone system. If you were going to put in a multi zone system, the rebates from Mass Save with that are going to range anywhere now from … they would start as low as $225 and those with any fuels can go up anywhere as high as $1700 depending on the system you’re going to put into your home. For just a multi zone system like that. If you were going to put something like that in.
Again, the Mass CEC is no longer available. Up to March 20th we had both rebates till available to us. That’s for pretty much gas, oil, propane. If you have an electrically heated home now, and you’re going to put in a ductless system, those rebates have changed now. Those rebates have gone up and they are a little bit higher now. Those range anywhere from $750 up to around $2000. If you have an electrically heated home for a single zone system.
If you have … if you want to put in a multi zone system now into your electrically heated home those rebates range anywhere from $1500 up to $5000 depending on the system that you would install into your home. So again, you’ll see with just gas heat, not doing any integrated controls or anything like that, the rebates are lower. When you go into an electrically heated home, if you have electric baseboard in your home, there are certain parameters of what we need to work around with that, how many indoor units we’re putting in, how many electric baseboard heaters we’d possibly be eliminating. That would dictate the rebate, but electrically heated home is higher than just a home that has nothing.
Why are Rebates Higher for Replacing Electric Heat?
John: And why is that on the electric heat? Why is it that those rebates are higher than for if you’re replacing a different type of fuel system?
Mike: That’s a great question John. Let me explain that to you. When we rate our equipment, the Mitsubishi ductless systems, they are rated on COP. That’s the Coefficient of Power and basically we have a cost per million of BTUs to heat your home with that. So at a COP of around three which would rate our system at at around 20 degrees. We’re at about … our cost per million per BTU is around $17 I’m going to say. Somewhere in that range.
With electric heat, you’re probably somewhere around 57 to 60, so we are about 3 to 4 times more efficient to heat with a ductless system than electric baseboard. So what we’re doing is by that is you’re giving back a lot of power to the grid and that’s why these big rebates are coming out in the format of these dollar amounts because of the electric heat. They want to get those toaster oven electric heaters off the grid, get these air source heat pumps on the grid and for people to save money on their electric bills. Give them these rebate incentives to switch over right now.
John: And then there are other ways for people to get even more back in terms of rebates. How do people do that?
Mike: Okay, so now, here is the third part of this now. What Mass Save has done, is they’ve done this integrated controls rebate now. The integrated controls part of this is, they are looking at your home and they are saying, if you have oil heat or propane heat, okay, we install an integrated control into your home along with the air source heat pump the rebates even get bigger.
Example, a single zone with an integrated control can be anywhere from $700 or $675 for a single zone system, up to upwards of around $2800 somewhere in that range. No, sorry. It’s upwards of about $3500 depending on the system that you put into your home, if you integrate that with one single zone system.
Now you’re probably sitting there and wondering and going okay what the heck is an integrated control? Well let me explain to you a little about what the integrated controls are. Keep in the back of your mind that there is a cost to these integrated controls too.
What it is, is they want you to operate a system on what is called a Kumo Cloud. A Kumo Cloud is a WiFi device that we put into the indoor unit to operate the unit from a smart device, Android phone, smartphone, tablet. It’s a programmable, like programmable thermostat on your phone okay? And then the device, the indoor unit, then talks to what’s called the Kumo Cloud station and this is what we integrate into your existing heating system. So example, let’s say you have a boiler in the basement. It’s oil heat. You have two or three zones of oil heat in your home and you want to integrate one unit into the one zone of this.
What we would do, is we would integrate the control into the one zone by turning that one zone on the boiler on and off by the outdoor temperature. So what we have is we have an outdoor temperature sensor on our Kumo Cloud station that says hey, above 25 degrees, we want the ductless system to run in this zone. Below 25 degrees, we want the oil or propane heat to run in that zone because we know the cost per million per BTU is lower to operate at the higher temperature. So example, above 25 degrees, we are going to be able to heat that space at a higher temperature for less money for the homeowner. That’s why they are giving these bigger rebates to integrate the controls into the boiler and the other thing is they want to get rid of these gases that are getting admitted into the air.
A lot of these communities now want to go to a carbon neutral footprint and they don’t want to be burning oil and propane and stuff like this into the air and Mass Save has come up with this dollar amount. They know the cross over point where it’s more efficient to heat with an air source heat pump above certain temperature. So we’re integrating that control with your existing boiler.
Now there is a cost to the integrated controls. The integrated controls can cost anywhere from $2500 to $3500 to install. So you are getting a bigger rebate, but the cost is a little bit higher for the system but in most cases it either breaks even or sometimes you even get more back in the rebate at that point.
John: Right, so basically they understand, Mass Save understands that a ductless system works best at certain temperatures. You said above 25 or 30 degrees. They are more efficient at those temperatures and then your oil or propane heater in your home is more efficient at temperatures lower than that. So they want you to be running whichever system is the most efficient for whatever temperature it is outside and that’s where that Kumo Cloud station comes in, that it switches between the ductless system and your oil or propane system. Is that right?
Mike: That’s good John. That’s very good. First time, very good. [laughs] You got it. No, that’s what it does. That’s where it’s going to do it. It has an outdoor air temperature sensor that says hey I’m above 25, 30 degrees. Let’s run the air source heat pump. It’s more efficient. Let’s use that and stop polluting the air too as well.
But if we integrate this into a multi zone system John …
John: Yeah, I was just going to ask that. What can you get back if you put three, four, five systems into your home?
Mike: When we get into the … I’ll give you an example here. A two zone system starts at right around oh about $2400 is where that rebate starts and I mean you go up to an eight zone system now with this particular system, I mean those rebates sometimes are as high as $5600. $6400. I mean I’ve seen them as high $7000 depending on the system that we’re going to put into your home. I mean eight zones can really get up there when you’re going to put in a lot of zones in the house. The more zones, the higher the rebate.
I’m looking at an 8C60 right now for example with non-ducted wall units in your house. That rebate is $8000 with oil heat. Oil and propane. So some of these rebates are pretty substantial. You can see the change now from Mass CEC to Mass Save but they’ve flipped it over now to integrated controls with oil and propane heat in the electric homes. That’s what they are really going after now. If you have a home like that, this is something you really want to get on board with and jump on board with. I mean this is from the heating side. Now we talk a little bit about the air conditioning side of this too.
I mean from a zone comfort system that would put into your home with air conditioning, if you don’t have any air conditioning in your home or you’re putting five or six window units in a good sized home. You’re going to save a substantial amount of money on your air conditioning bills too in the summer time. So this is a win win for everybody.
Annual Heating Hours
John: Okay. So talk a little bit about … I believe you mentioned the typical temperatures that we see over the course of the year in the Boston area and how often is if you have, say a coomo cloud system like that, how often is your traditional oil or propane system kicking in at those really low temperatures. Or do we not get that many days of really low temperatures in the Boston area?
Mike: I mean, John, I’m looking at an annual heating hours chart right now and last year in 2018, we had one hour from minus 10 to minus 15 degrees where we had one hour where the temperature was that cold. Minus 10 to Minus 1, we had 45 hours of that temperature. 0 to 9, we had 189 hours of that. What I’m going to tell you here is that 92% of our heating hours that we have in New England, 92%, I’m going to reiterate that. Between, go between the temperatures of 20 degrees and 60 degrees, when we look at our annual winters.
I mean we spend 92% of our heating hours are above 20 degrees. Then about 1500 of those hours are spent between 30 and 39 degrees. Another 1710 are in between 40 and 49 degrees. So when we look at this heating data that we have. These hours of heating data, like I said, 92% of these hours are above 20 degrees. This is the crossover point that they are trying to get across so I mean, you’re going to be saving money on your oil and propane bills. Your electric bills, because like I said, most of these hours are not at low, low temperatures. When you look at our heating hours that we have in the Boston area.
John: Right. So we just don’t have that many days out of the year where the temperatures are below 20 degrees which is when those traditional systems are going to be kicking in.
Mike: I mean we could have a 20 degree day with a zero degree windchill factor, but in reality it’s still only 20 degrees outside. We don’t have a lot of … we have so many cooling hours and so many heating hours, and we even look at our cooling hours too. We don’t have … you would think we have more hours than we do above 90 degrees in the course of the summer time, but a lot of our time is spent between that 89 degrees and 88 degree days where we have more humidity in the New England states than we do, than temperature.
When you remove humidity from a space in the summer time that’s what makes it comfortable. You could have a 78 degree room with 100% relative humidity and that’s an uncomfortable room.
Mike: What our systems do is they remove the humidity as well.
John: So why don’t you just give me like a little bit of an overview now — what are your final thoughts on the Mitsubishi ductless rebates moving forward in 2019 and what should people be thinking about doing?
Mike: I think right now you need to be looking at this in two ways. I think you need to be looking at, if you have an oil home or a propane home or an electric home, you’ve got to strongly be looking at these systems for savings and energy efficiency and getting these things to … getting these towns and cities more to a carbon neutral footprint, where we’re not burning all these gases into the air. I’m hearing now a lot of cities want to be carbon neutral by the year 2050. So I mean a lot of things are turning to winter power now. Solar power now. This is the way the things are turning. People looking at different ways to heat and cool their homes and be comfortable in their homes, you know.
So the heating side of it is one thing, but now look at it from the air conditioning side. You’re going to save money on the air conditioning side. You can zone out your home. You’ve got inverter driven compressors. It’s just a real, super efficient way to heat and cool your home.
John: All right. That’s really great information Mike. Thanks again for speaking to me today.
Mike: You’re welcome John. Have a great day. Thank you.
John: And for more information, visit the N.E.T.R., Inc. website at www.netrinc.com or call 781-933-NETR. That’s 781-933-6387.