Skip to main content

ET22SWE0056 - Increasing Heat Pump Water Heater Deployment

Project Name
Increasing Heat Pump Water Heater Deployment
Project Number
Funding Entity
Market Sector
TPM Category Priority 1
Water Heating
TPM Technology Family Type 1
Distribution Report
Project Description

The 120V heat pump water heater (HPWH) has the potential to vastly increase customer adoption of heat pump water heaters by reducing installation costs. The 120V units plug directly into existing shared or dedicated circuits at the WH location, eliminating additional electrical wiring and/or electrical panel upgrades, which is one of the most substantial barriers to HPWH installation.

To date, HPWH adoption has been much slower than heat pump HVAC, largely because the plumbing market tends to be more conservative as a whole and is not as used to continuous advances in technology seen in HVAC. Experience by other implementers, such as NEEA and Efficiency Maine, suggests that contractors first-hand home experience with the product significantly increases willingness to recommend that product to customers.

Our project plan to accelerate adoption will install approximately 50 HPWH into the homes of plumbing contractors for them to experience the ease of installation and alleviate uncertainty about units not producing enough hot water. Special emphasis will be placed on contractors living in and serving DAC communities where panel upgrades and additional electrical work constitute a significant financial burden and barrier to HPWH adoption.

These 120V units will be installed exclusively in the homes of plumbing contractors and will not receive any further incentives from TECH, although they will be eligible for federal tax credits. TECH will record these installations and they will become part of the TECH dataset and the GHG savings will be claimed (this is negotiable), but no further incentives will be available through TECH. We do not propose to install any units where additional partner incentives may be available (i.e. SMUD/BayREN).

This project is proposed as an augment to TECH’s “Bulk Purchase/Contractor Demo” program which focuses on 240V units. Funds from CalNEXT will be used solely for purchasing 120V HPWH units for delivery through the TECH Bulk Purchase/Contractor Demo program. As part of this project, TECH will educate contractors on training around customer incentives available from TECH, SGIP, EE PLA and other resources to aid in their sales process to their customers. We will coordinate with PLA and SGIP stakeholders (depending on timing of the SGIP award) for input on the project planning.