neea-logo
Stay Informed with NEEA News

New Heat Pump Water Heater Changes the Game

New product from A. O. Smith designed to slash electric water heating bills

Portland, Oregon — July 5, 2016 Today, A. O. Smith, the largest manufacturer and marketer of water heaters in North America, introduced a dramatically efficient new model of heat pump water heater.

Already three times more efficient than a standard electric water heater, A. O. Smith engineers refreshed the Voltex line to improve energy efficiency benefits and performance for homes in all climates, including homes that routinely deal with cold weather.

These improvements qualify the Voltex for the highest tier of efficiency under the Advanced Water Heater Specification. This specification was developed by an alliance of Northwest utilities, energy efficiency organizations and market partners under the umbrella of Hot Water Solutions, a program facilitated by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). The goal of this program is to advance higher performing electric heat pump water heaters.

Tremendous energy savings

“The new Voltex Hybrid Electric Heat Pump can reduce electric water heating costs by as much as 71 percent for some homeowners,” according to David Chisolm, vice president of marketing for A.O. Smith. “Contractors can confidently recommend a Voltex heat pump water heater to their customers across the Northwest as a way for them to save money and energy, while still delivering the same reliable hot water.”

Over the past three years, Northwest utilities and the Hot Water Solutions program have supported increased energy efficiency performance and influenced the sale of over 13,000 electric heat pump water heaters, paving the way for this technology.

Heat pump water heaters have the potential to bring about enormous energy savings to the Northwest region. Currently 55 percent of Northwest homes have electric water heaters. If all of those homes used high-efficiency heat pump water heaters, the region could save nearly 300 average megawatts by 2025 – the equivalent to powering all the homes in Spokane and Boise annually.

“We know that heat pump technology has a tremendous potential to save energy. That’s why we’re working as a region to spread the word, and with manufacturers to keep improving the efficiency and performance of these products,” said Jill Reynolds, program manager at NEEA.

How does a heat pump water heater work?

How does this heat pump water heater deliver the same reliable hot water as a standard electric water heaters but use so much less energy? It works a bit like a refrigerator, but in reverse. A refrigerator pushes heat out to make the inside of the fridge cooler. A heat pump water heater pulls a small amount of heat in from the surrounding air to warm the water in the heater’s storage tank. Even when the surrounding air temperature is chilly, the heat pump still pulls in available heat. This process helps the water heater operate with less energy, which in turn saves money on water heating costs.

The savings, reliability and ease of installation all help make the owners of new heat pump water heaters happy with their purchase. According to a third party study released by NEEA, 93 percent of surveyed owners said they would recommend a heat pump water heater to someone they know.

Consumers can currently offset the cost of a heat pump water heater by combining utility rebates with state and federal tax credits. Utilities across the Northwest offer between $120-$1,000, Oregon and Montana residents can receive between $300-$600 in state tax credits and homeowners can receive up to $300 in federal tax credits. Many manufacturers are also offering promotional markdowns. To learn more about heat pump water heaters, available promotions and rebates, and if they’re right for you, go to hotwatersolutionsnw.org.

##

About Hot Water Solutions

Hot Water Solutions is an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices in the Northwest.  NEEA promotes efficient technologies and practices without endorsing the products or services of any specific provider or brand.  Learn more at hotwatersolutionsnw.org