I haven’t heard of ETS. Is this new? How does it work?
ETS heating technology has been around for decades. The systems are popular in some of the coldest parts of the U.S., Canada and Europe because they are cost effective, convenient and require virtually no maintenance over their 20-plus year life. The systems are now being offered in Maine and supported by Maine companies you know and trust, including Dead River Company and Central Maine Power.
Today’s 100 percent efficient units contain electric heating elements (just like electric ovens) that are surrounded by highly insulated, high-density ceramic bricks that store heat. The unit automatically heats the bricks during off-peak hours (typically between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am) and releases the heat as needed to maintain your comfort level. Once installed, all the homeowner needs to do is adjust the thermostat to the desired temperature. There is no maintenance, ordering or filling fuel tanks or lugging wood or wood pellets. ETS is as easy as set it, forget it and save.
Are ETS heating systems dependable? How long do they last?
ETS heating systems last 20-plus years and require almost no cleaning or regular maintenance. They are remarkably dependable. In fact, ETS systems installed in Maine during the 1980s when the technology was first available here are still delivering affordable, reliable heat more than 30 years later. Steffes Corporation, the American company that manufactures the ETS heating systems in North Dakota, has been in business for almost 40 years.
What is “off-peak” electricity and how does it save me money?
Throughout the night when most people are asleep there is a significantly lower usage of electricity by consumers. Because of the lower demand for power during these “off-peak” hours (typically 8:00 pm to 7:00 am), utility companies have lower transmission and distribution costs and offer consumers lower off-peak rates. ETS supplemental or home heating units allow you to store discounted “off-peak” power as heat and release it as needed throughout the day and night. Off-peak power saves on home heat by heating at the equivalent of about $2.90 per gallon of home heating oil. Additional savings come from the $1,500 to $4,500 CMP rebates being offered through December 31, 2013 and the fact that ETS heating units require no annual maintenance or cleaning cost over their 20-plus year life.
I thought electric heat was expensive. How is ETS different?
ETS room and whole house heating systems deliver affordable home heating because they store lower cost, off-peak power overnight when electricity demand is low – and then release heat as needed. ETS systems deliver heat at the equivalent of about $2.90 per gallon of home heating oil, are eligible for $1,500 to $4,500 in CMP rebates through December 31 and have virtually no annual maintenance cost over their 20-plus year life.
What is the “all in” cost if I wanted to put in an ETS room or whole home heating system?
With the $1,500 up front CMP rebate, each supplemental ETS room heater will cost between $1,750 and $2,500 out of pocket, fully installed. Eligible CMP customers can buy up to three supplemental units and save up $1,500 on each one for a total savings of $4,500. A 100 percent efficient, whole house ETS heating system costs $7,500 to $10,500 full installed after the up-front $4,500 CMP rebate. Rebates are only available through December 2013 and final costs will vary slightly based on installation requirements. The range of prices for both supplemental and whole house ETS systems is based on which size model is right to heat your particular home efficiently and comfortably. Your Dead River Residential Energy Advisor will help you figure out the right system for you.
Do ETS units work with my existing forced air or hot water heating system?
Yes. ETS supplemental or space heating units can be placed anywhere in your home. They require no chimney or vents for soot or fumes because ETS heat has no emmissions. The units provide the equivalent heat of 300 to 500 gallons of home heating oil in a typical winter.
ETS whole house heating systems deliver 100 percent efficiency and also work with (or “plug into”) your existing forced air or hot water heating systems. Whole house systems sold in Maine are specially built to allow you to connect electric water heaters and save on your hot water costs.
Are ETS heating systems efficient technology and good for the environment?
Yes. ETS is an important energy technology with significant environmental benefits. First, ETS systems deliver heat at 100 percent efficiency. Second, ETS heating systems and electric vehicles are the only technologies that act as “batteries” allowing individual consumers to store and use intermittently generated renewable power. Maine’s Congressional delegation supports federal legislation creating incentives for energy storage technology like ETS because it “transform(s) variable renewables like wind and solar into firm power.” (See white paper for more detail.)
How do I find out more and find out if ETS heating is right for me?
We know choosing the home or supplemental heating system that is right for you is a big decision. You can reach one of Dead River Company’s Residential Energy Advisors by calling 855-207-1600 or fill out the contact form here and one of the advisors will call you. They stand ready to answer your questions about ETS heating system benefits and installation – and to make it simple and easy to move to ETS so you can start saving on your Maine heating costs this winter.