Residential Heat Pumps

Electric customers with heat pumps help Columbia Water & Light reduce summer peak demand which saves the utility money. This savings is passed on to our customers.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a single appliance that can provide both your heating and cooling. During the summer, the heat pump works like a conventional air conditioner, cooling the home. In winter, the heat pump reverses its flow and heats your home by extracting heat from the outside air and pumping it to your house. Usually a heat pump is an add-on system that improves the efficiency of your conventional gas or electric furnace. When the weather is very cold, the heat pump shuts off and your furnace takes over.

One feature in many models is a variable speed compressor that alters its power usage based on the need for heating or cooling. When needs are minimal, the compressor runs at slower speeds. Variable speed units provide better humidity control during the cooling season and are much quieter for year-round operation.

What is the heat pump rate?

Available for residential heat pump service to any customer receiving service at the same location and meeting the standards set forth for this type service. The monthly rate below would apply for the months of October through May to permanently installed heat pumps that are the primary source of comfort heating for the non-summer season.

Fee Rate
Customer Charge $16.31 per month*
first 300 kWh 7.86 cents per kWh
next 450 kWh 10.25 cents per kWh
all remaining kWh 9.34 cents per kWh

*for customers requesting a non-standard (mechanical) meter the customer charge is $21.54)

Are there any special eligibility requirements?


  • You must be a Columbia Water and Light electric customer who applies for this rate
  • You must have a working heat pump (rated SEER 15) installed that does not exceed 100 kilowatts.
  • Your building must have a minimum of R-50 insulation in the ceiling and at least R-19 insulation in floors next to unheated areas like crawl spaces. Duct work in unheated areas must also be insulated to an R-13 level. Insulation along the rim joist must be at least an R-13.
  • Heat pumps must heat at least 50% of conditioned air space.
  • The City of Columbia has the right to inspect the equipment at any time. Violations of any of the Rules and Regulations will cause the customer to be put on the regular residential electric rate.

Need help financing a new heat pump?

Columbia Water & Light offers rebates and low-interest energy efficiency loans to help our customers fund this type of energy improvement.

Special Rules

Special rules and regulations specifying the equipment that qualifies for service under this rate, and the conditions of service hereunder are outlined in the Department Rules entitled “Heat Pump Rules and Regulations”

Minimum Monthly Bill

The minimum monthly bill shall be $16.31 for a standard meter and $21.54 for a non-standard meter).

In Lieu of Gross Receipts Tax Payments and Sales Tax

In addition to the charge based on monthly rates as computed above, the total monthly charge for service shall include applicable sales taxes and an in lieu of gross receipts tax payment equal to 7.5268% of the monthly rate charge. Sales taxes shall be applied to the total of the monthly rate charge and the in lieu of gross receipts tax payment.

Fuel Adjustment

The fuel adjustment rider applies to all KWH consumption billed on this schedule.


This information taken from Columbia Ordinance – Chapter 27, Section 27-113. The City Council has the sole authority to set rates and charges for Columbia Water & Light services. The City reviews these rates and charges annually.

This information taken from proposed Columbia Ordinance – Chapter 27, Section 27-166