Northwest Heat Pump Water Heater Initiative Market Progress Evaluation Report #5

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with NMR Group to complete the 5th Market Progress Evaluation Report (MPER) for the electric Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) initiative. This report presents the findings of an evaluation conducted between February and July 2019. The study emphasized research with installers to better understand barriers to installing and recommending HPWHs, including mystery shopping calls and a mixed-mode survey with 87 installers across the region. Other evaluation activities included interviews with distributors, a review of the program logic, and an analysis of sales data to update the market size and penetration.

This MPER finds that while market share of HPWHs and the rate at which they are installed in new versus existing homes is holding steady, there remain significant barriers to installers’ willingness to adopt them. These include occasional call backs to installation sites, a prevalence of challenging installation scenarios in existing homes, and a commission structure that poses a barrier to the sale of HPWHs. Installers who have received HPWH training tend to have positive perceptions of the technology. Nonetheless, they frequently avoid installing HPWHs, even when required by a federal standard.

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