Field Performance of Heat Pump Water Heaters in the Northeast

Carl Shapiro, Srikanth Puttagunta

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) are finally entering the mainstream residential water heater market. Potential catalysts are increased consumer demand for higher energy efficiency electric water heating and a new Federal water heating standard that effectively mandates use of HPWHs for electric storage water heaters with nominal capacities greater than 55 gallons. When compared to electric resistance water heating, the energy and cost savings potential of HPWHs is tremendous. Converting all electric resistance water heaters to HPWHs could save American consumers 7.8 billion dollars annually ($182 per household) in water heating operating costs and cut annual residential source energy consumption for water heating by 0.70 quads. Steven Winter Associates, Inc. embarked on one of the first in situ studies of these newly released HPWH products through a partnership with two sponsoring electric utility companies, National Grid and NSTAR, and one sponsoring energy efficiency service program administrator, Cape Light Compact. Recent laboratory studies have measured performance of HPWHs under various operating conditions, but publically available field studies have not been as available. This evaluation attempts to provide publicly available field data on new HPWHs by monitoring the performance of three recently released products (General Electric GeoSpring(TM), A.O. Smith Voltex(R), and Stiebel Eltron Accelera(R) 300). Fourteen HPWHs were installed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and monitored for over a year. Of the 14 units, ten were General Electric models (50 gallon units), two were Stiebel Eltron models (80 gallon units), and two were A.O. Smith models (one 60-gallon and one 80-gallon unit).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages66
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, Norwalk, Connecticut

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-64904

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102016-4759


  • CARB II: Building America
  • coefficient of performance
  • dehumidification
  • efficiency
  • energy factor
  • heat pump water heater
  • hybrid water heater
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • space conditioning
  • water heating


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