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Federal funding for Ohio heat pump research to mitigate climate change

A woman wearing a purple suit jacket and black blouse with short blonde hair is walking down a white, grey and blue hallway with several men wearing suits past a large orange sign.
Chris Welter
U.S. Energy Secretary Granholm tours the Sidney, Ohio, Copeland facility with company officials

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was in Ohio on Monday afternoon to tour battery and heat pump manufacturers and announce a new round of federal research grants for those industries.

Granholm toured the Copeland Corporation research and manufacturing facility in Sidney that makes parts for heating and cooling systems. She told employees there that technology like the efficient electric heat pumps they produce is crucial to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Granholm also praised Copeland for employing 1,800 people at its facility in Shelby County.

“This example here of you bringing back manufacturing, it's exactly what we want to see all over the country,” Granholm said. “We want these products made in America with American workers, used in America, and then exported around the world.”

Most American consumers are now eligible for tax credits or rebates if they install a heat pump system in their home.

Copeland is an example of American companies that have benefited from government subsidies under the Biden administration, Granholm said.

“I'm so proud to be able to celebrate the innovation here as well as your role in helping us to address the existential crisis of our time, which is climate change,” she said to the crowd. “I hope you all feel this sense of mission.”

Copeland will receive an approximately $2 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to research heat pumps, Granholm announced.

Copeland CEO Ross Shuster said his company is grateful for that government support. He envisions heat pumps becoming more and more widespread in residential and commercial spaces in the next five to 10 years in the United States.

“The core technology is already there. The economics are already there, and again, we'll work to bring the cost down to make it more affordable for the entire population of the country,” Shuster said. “What is really important now is education.”

Chris Welter is the Managing Editor at The Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO. Chris got his start in radio in 2017 when he completed a six-month training at the Center for Community Voices. Most recently, he worked as a substitute host and the Environment Reporter at WYSO.