Heating water for showers, loads of laundry and dishes, and other household needs can account for up to 25 percent of the average home’s total energy cost, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. GE hopes that figure will persuade homeowners to upgrade from a conventional electric storage-tank water heater to its new heat-pump water heater, expected out in the fourth quarter of 2009. Heat-pump water heaters are common in Japan, but GE's 50-gallon Hybrid Electric Water Heater represents the only U.S. version from a major manufacturer.
In heat-pump technology, heat is transferred from the air to water stored in an insulated tank.(The GE unit will also retain some traditional electrical heating elements, which will kick in when needed.) GE claims this new appliance will use 2,300 kilowatt hours annually, about half that of a standard electric water heater. Those savings could help defray its cost, which at $1,200 to $1,500 is several times that of a storage-tank unit.
GE says the new water heater will use the same electrical and water connections as a standard electric storage-tank unit, though the unit is taller.—Daniel DiClerico
I hope GE with the help of higher electrical costs can finally be successful selling a very viable product. I have owned a heat pump water heater/home ventilation unit for 16 years with no problems. People need to put their money were their mouths are on this type of product, it works in almost any climate (is not fantasy energy like wind and solar), saves energy and outlasts the standard electric water heater. All you Al Gore disciples here is your chance to not be the typical envoirmental hypocite.
Are there electric heat pumps other than the one GE will introduce in the US in the fourth quarter of '09? Who makes them, and where did you get yours?
The GE Hybrid Electric Water Heater combines energy-saving heating technology with traditional electric heating systems used in most standard water heaters on the market today without sacrificing the amount of hot water it can deliver.
Salt Lake City electrician
i live near Tampa FL & natural gas is not available so our gas hot water heater uses proppane which is getting more & more expensive. Can you give me an idea of the unit cost and operating cost of en electric water heater ( eg the GE hybrid electric water heater) vs those of a gas/propane heater?
Or you could just use a gas water heater, at 1/3 of the cost, with better energy efficiency, and greater water heating performance. I predict this product will flop. You can buy a good gas tankless water heater for $1200 that costs less to operate and provide infinite hot water...so I don't really know what the advatage to this is, unless you have an all electric home.
What is the Energy Factor (EF) of the new heat pump water heater going to be? Will it fit through an attic door?
http://www.airgenerate.com/ You can have these benefits now. This is essentially what GE is putting on top of their new unit.
ef is 2.0
Will this unit make sense in cold weather climates? My basement, where my hot water heater is located, is only about 68 degrees in the summer and down to the 50's in the winter.
What will the cost be for a 40 gallon GE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater?
How efficient will this unit be for the millions of homeowners who live in a cold climate, and have their hot water heater in their basement? I'd estimate the air temperature in my basement is only about 68 in the summer, and is in the 40's to 50's through the winter and most of the spring and fall. Is the energy and cost savings enough to justify replacing my aging water heater with this one?
GE has not been forthcoming with the real potential savings (if any)for these hybrid heat pump water heaters for homeowners in the North.
Although Rheem contains the same misleading cost savings prominently in their procuct ads, at least lower down they provide the following information:
"Energy Efficiency Zones
The map to the right indicates, on the average, the most favorable locations for heat pump water heaters. Annual weather patterns and other factors will determine your overall energy efficiency.
•Zone 1: Heat pump will be used most of the year (90-100%)
•Zone 2: Combination heat pump (60%) and electric heating elements (40%)
•Zone 3: Combination heat pump (50%) and electric heating elements (50%)"
Their zone map of the United States shows that Zone I includes the South, Zone 3 includes most of New England the Upper Midwest and the Rocky Mountain states, and Zone 2 includes the area in between. http://www.rheem.com/Products/tank_water_heaters/hpwh/hpwhhomeowner/
? cost savings and reliability in Connecticut study
The energy savings of these units are usually tested at an air temperature of 70 degrees.
As air temperature drops, however, the efficiency goes down. That is because the heat pump has to take the heat out of the air to heat cold water up to 130 degrees.
I have been trying to find a study done in households that will tell whether these hybrid heat pump water heaters will be anywhere near as effecient as their claims in actual use in northern households.
Even conferrering with an ENERGY STAR heat pump water heater representative, the following study in 15 Connecticut households is all that I can come up with: http://www.cee1.org/eval/db_pdf/277.pdf
In this study of (non GE) heat pump water heaters, only 6 of the 15 households reported a cost savings, even though the 9 month study included all 6 of the warmest months, and only 3 of the coldest months.
And 4 of the 15 units broke down before 9 months.
While these new GE units carry a 10 year guarantee on parts, there is only a one year guarantee on labor. Hopefully GE has engineered a superior product that will not have high maintenance costs.
Does GE carry a commercial version of this product? Currently, our facility is using an electric hot-water heater for its domestic supply. This unit is located in our boiler-room with a ambient temperature of 90 degrees. This Hybrid type unit sounds ideal for our situation.
Every KW-hr that is saved by this unit (compared with a conventional electric unit) is taken from the surrounding air by cooling the air. In the heating months, this has to replaced by heating the air back up by the same amount! And if you heat with anything other than electric, the heat is replaced at about 80% efficiency.
So it makes no sense at all in winter heating months - the house as a whole looses ground!
It will help in summer A/C months.
Interesting product, but I have a feeling that GE may not have all that much confidence in it. Each time I have called to get some more information on it and when it might be available I have been stonewalled. I was given no answers to my technical questions and none to when it will be in my area. No matter how hard I tried or asked to talk to someone else I was given a scripted answer that left me feeling GE is hiding something. Very strange.
I currently pay a base rate of nearly $23/month for access to gas and billing. This cost is currently $30/month. The cost per therm is added to this amount. So I am definitely going to get an electric water pump heater. However,I am confused about which one to get. Any advice?
I took the plunge and bought one of these units last week, after our 28 year old water heater finally gave up. I haven't had an electric bill yet so I can't speak to the efficiency, but one thing to know is that the fan/compressor is pretty loud. Our water heater is pretty close to the basement steps and the sound travels effectively up the stairs into the living room. I would definitely not install this heater in a little alcove right off the kitchen with a louvred door like the pictures on the GE website.
I think some of the noise transmission can be eliminated pretty cheaply, and I'm sure the heater is working hardest right now in the middle of winter, but it's something to consider.
Similar experience to Sunny H. Found the unit on Sears.com. Called about 5 locations seeking information. No one at the stores (or repair centers) knew anything about this unit. It was not in stock and the sales people did not know anything aabout it. Called GE and got: "Units will be available in your area in a few weeks." Also was not able to get any spec info on the unit other than being referred to the web site. Its been a few weeks and Sears folks still have never seen nor heard of this unit.
I am more concerned with compressor noise, particularly under a bedroom.
I just read lots of angry posts about Rheem on productreview.com.au for similar systems. Are all heat pump water heaters doomed due to the noise?
Does anyone know the BTU output of the heat pump section?
Does anyone know the BTU output of the heat pump unit? GE or the person answering the phone doesn't nor she claims anyone else at GE.
We live in Ft Worth TX and we're planning on buying this GE Hybrid on Memorial Day weekend. TX will be having a tax free weekend (on energy efficient appliances)then. This gives us time to do our homework. Only two vendors will be selling this... Sears and Lowes. They both have the same listed price,(1599.00) but Sears put theirs on sale this weekend. (100.00 off) Lowes will match that price and take off an additional 10%, plus you can get your Federal tax credit. The dept of energy and Consumer Reports are not impressed with tankless water heaters...sounds good but the savings are minimal. Not every energy star appliance meets high enough standards to get the tax credit..but this one does. The Lowes employees and installers will not be trained on this til the last week of Feb. The installer at Sears was only slightly more informed but do get ready for this...standard water heater installation costs WILL be higher. Lowes can't give me a price til they have gone through their training.(but they said it will be more than the standard 280.00.)The installer at Sears said pretty much the same thing. He wants to come out to the house first before giving us an install bid (and that visit costs over $70.00)This water heater has a condensation tube unlike traditional water heaters. I think thats what changes the install price. The other hookups are located on the heater in the same "footprint" as traditional w/heaters so that isn't a problem. Also, I think the installers have to do some electronic stuff, that may run up that installation cost too. GE gives a nice install video online, BUT you have to have a permit to put in a w/heater so this may nix the do-it-yourself plan.
A couple people asked a good question I do not see answered - "Since the heat pump water heater cools the house, how much would this increase the winter heating bill?" Anybody have any idea?
sounds like a great idea. what happens when the unit is placed in a small closet with no ventilation which is where many electric water heaters are installed. also is there any condensation generated by the refrigeration process???
Any mimimally confidant DYI-er should be able to install this unit with no problem. As far as permit requirements are concerned, none are needed in Maryland, my home state. The procedure simply involves the replacement of an existing unit, with no additional electrical wiring to the circuit breaker or fuse box.
I am buying a electric water heater 50 gallon.can I transport it without damaging it on it's side in the box or is it better to transport it upright?
I purchased and installed this GE heat pump water heater in a rental home that I own in April, 2010... and I've got nothing but positive things to say about it. The results have been excellent: plenty of hot water (6 adults in the home) and the total energy usage so far (I installed a kWh meter) has been just over 100 kWh per month, far exceeding GE's efficiency claims. The house already has a PV solar power system... this heat pump water heater makes it practical and economical to go with electric water heating (even when competing against cheap natural gas).
For another project, I used the slightly cheaper Rheem heat-pump water heater, and I've had the chance to compare. Although the Rheem does the job, this GE unit turned out to be a far superior unit. To start, I had a major out-of-the-box defect on my Rheem that took a half day to repair. The GE unit is quieter, shorter, easier to install, more efficient, and does a better job staying in the "heat pump only" operating mode---saving a bunch of money in the long run. The GE unit seems to have better build quality and... looks way cooler. I strongly recommend this GE heat pump water heater to anyone with electric or propane water heating.