Homeowners Jim and Chris Hall stand beneath their new heat pump, at right, inside their Whidbey Island home on Thursday, Sep. 7, 2023, near Langley, Washington. The couple, who are from Alaska, have decreased their use of their wood burning stove to reduce their carbon footprint. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Homeowners Jim and Chris Hall stand beneath their new heat pump, at right, inside their Whidbey Island home on Thursday, Sep. 7, 2023, near Langley, Washington. The couple, who are from Alaska, have decreased their use of their wood burning stove to reduce their carbon footprint. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Snohomish County to start ‘kicking gas’ in push for all-electric homes

Last year, 118 Whidbey Island homes installed energy-efficient heat pumps. A new campaign aims to make the case for induction stoves now, too.

EVERETT — The local Sierra Club chapter, in partnership with the Kicking Gas campaign, is encouraging Snohomish County residents to install heat pumps and induction stoves in a new campaign.

During an eight-month initiative last year, Kicking Gas helped over 118 Whidbey Island residents acquire energy-efficient heat pumps.

Now, campaign leaders are welcoming other Western Washington residents to get involved. Sustainability advocates plan to hold an informational session on the campaign from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday over Zoom.

Interested attendees can register for the session on the Kicking Gas website.

Despite the name, heat pumps act as both an air conditioner and a heater. The machine releases or captures energy through refrigerants, which travel between an indoor and outdoor unit, allowing heat to be pumped into or out of a home.

Last year, leaders of the Kicking Gas campaign offered Whidbey Island clients 20% to 50% savings off the heat pump’s total cost. As long as they lived on the island and used wood, propane or oil for heating, residents were eligible.

The campaign also partnered with Salish Sea Cooperative Finance to create a microloans program — a key to making the project feasible for many residents. About a quarter of clients received microloans.

This year, the campaign is championing induction stoves, in addition to heat pumps, in a push for all-electric homes.

“We are thrilled to help bring this program to Snohomish County,” said Nancy Johnson, co-chair for the Sno-Isle Group of the Sierra Club, in a press release. “Come join us to learn how you can convert your home appliances to save on utility bills, reduce carbon emissions and increase your indoor air quality.”

Ta’Leah Van Sistine: 425-339-3460; taleah.vansistine@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @TaLeahRoseV.

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