Advancing Clean Energy

With Heat Pumps on the Rise, Local HVAC Businesses Gear Up with ComEd

February 29, 2024

In the heart of our communities, residents see HVAC vans passing the block– some powered by dedication, innovation, and the new opportunity to help customers heat and cool their homes more efficiently.

Heat pumps in Illinois are increasing, as demonstrated by the uptake in ComEd’s heat pump rebate program, which provided discounts on nearly 5,000 air source heat pumps (ASHPs), a more than 400% increase over the prior year. To prime the market for rapid growth of heat pump technology and evolving customer demands, ComEd last year launched first of its kind training to help over 200 local firms to deliver the customer guidance and installation on heat pumps so that more customers can reduce their energy usage and expenses.

Meet a couple of local businesses behind this movement: Temperature Doctors, in Rockford, IL and Polar Vortex Heating & Cooling in Chicago, IL, two different teams running a HVAC company that voluntarily signed up for training, are now equipped with new expertise, thanks to ComEd’s transformative heat pump contractor training program.

Rockford Embracing the Heat Pump Surge

Through the training, the staff learned the benefits and approaches to upgrade AC replacements with the installation of a new two-way air conditioner, also known as a heat pump, and much more. “At Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, we recognize the value of up-to-date industry education,” said Marcus Pickett, commercial president of Temperature Doctors. “Even with more than 38 years of combined experience, our staff still holds weekly training sessions to ensure we can address all the customers’ questions and concerns. The customers deserve a team of knowledgeable technicians with extensive industry information, such as heat pumps.  With the specialized knowledge from the ComEd’s experts heat pump training program, we can compete with other industry giants,” said Marcus.

To be able to access product incentives, ComEd requires contractors to take part in four online on-demand training modules, as well as participate in a technical training with manufacturers which tends to be in-person and hands on. “Once contractors complete both sets of requirements, they need to certify that 30% of their company workforce have taken the modules and the manufacturer trainings, and then they will be listed on the ComEd trained heat pump contractor list,” said Paul Grimyser, Manager of Energy Efficiency Programs at ComEd.

“We believe that heat pumps will be used to heat and cool more ComEd customers’ homes in the future and will play a critical role in reducing energy use,” added Paul.  “We are committed to breaking down barriers and helping transform the heat pump market. One critical priority is for us to help local contractors, our dedicated partners, realize the rapidly growing market opportunity of air source heat pumps (ASHPs) across northern Illinois. To do so, ComEd is bringing heat pump-focused training opportunities to contractors operating in the areas ComEd serves.”

Modern heat pump technology provides an efficient and cost-effective choice for heating and cooling a customer’s home year-round. One configuration growing in popularity across northern Illinois is to replace a central air conditioner with a heat pump, which then coordinates with an existing gas furnace to provide cost-effective, comfortable heating in addition to high efficiency cooling. This configuration, known as a hybrid or dual fuel heat pump system, can be an easy path to entry for homeowners. Alternatively, thanks to recent advancements in technology, cold climate heat pumps can effectively heat Midwestern homes even in extreme cold.

ComEd’s comprehensive training program is a response to the growing demand for heat pumps in Illinois. Efforts to lower carbon emissions and transition to more energy efficient technologies are a hallmark of the state’s landmark law, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which calls for significant reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

“While the volume of heat pump incentives has grown significantly, ComEd remains committed to supporting its workforce and the communities they serve,” said Paul. “As part of this commitment, new customer resources like the website have been introduced, offering valuable information and support for those looking to make the switch to energy-efficient solutions,” stated Paul.

Chicago’s HVAC Business Leading the Way

For Polar Vortex Heating & Cooling, located in the heart of Chicago, it’s not just about business – it’s about making a difference in the lives of their customers. By participating in ComEd’s heat pump training, Ruben Vazquez and his team can now help families and businesses in their community save money on energy bills while reducing their carbon footprint.

“Not only are our installations successful, but they are energy efficient. Our jobs reduce energy costs and save our customers money,” said Ruben, owner of Polar Vortex Heating & Cooling.  “In addition, any of our clients are able to receive rebates from ComEd for our services.”

In addition to the available federal tax credits, ComEd offers discounts up to $1,400 on qualifying centrally ducted air source and mini-split heat pumps, and up to $1,000 on ductless and mixed-use mini-split heat pumps through our Home Heating & Cooling program.

These discounts are available through heat pump trained contractors when purchasing the equipment, so there is no need for customers to complete an application.  Visit to access tools and resources that can help customers determine if a heat pump is right for them, including finding a trained contractor to access ComEd’s incentives.

Temperature Doctors and Polar Vortex Heating and Cooling have gained invaluable insights into the latest heat pump technologies and energy-saving solutions.

“It’s about more than just business growth,” Ruben explains, “It’s about building a brighter future for our community – one heat pump at a time.”

To explore ComEd’s tools and resources on heat pump technologies or want to learn more about heat pump training program, please visit