Regional Variation in Residential Heat Pump Water Heater Performance in the U.S.: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Residential heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) have recently reemerged on the U.S. market. These units have the potential to provide homeowners significant cost and energy savings. However, actual in use performance of a HPWH will vary significantly with climate, installation location, HVAC equipment, and hot water use. To determine what actual in use energy consumption of a HPWH may be in different regions of the U.S., annual simulations of both 50 and 80 gallon HPWHs as well as a standard electric water heater were performed for over 900 locations across the U.S. The simulations included a benchmark home to take into account interactions between the space conditioning equipment and the HPWH and a realistic hot water draw profile. It was found that the HPWH will always save some source energy when compared to a standard electric resistance water heater, although savings varies widely with location. In addition to looking at source energy savings, the breakeven cost (the net installed cost a HPWH would have to have to be a cost neutral replacement for a standard water heater) was also examined. The highest breakeven costs were seen in cases with high energy savings, such as the southeastern U.S., or high energy costs, such as New England and California. While the breakeven cost is higher for 80 gallon units than 50 gallon units, the higher net installed costs of an 80 gallon unit lead to the 50 gallon HPWHs being more likely to be cost effective.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2014
EventASHRAE Winter Conference - New York City, New York
Duration: 18 Jan 201422 Jan 2014


ConferenceASHRAE Winter Conference
CityNew York City, New York

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-60295


  • Building America
  • heat pump water heater
  • NREL
  • regional variation
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • water heating


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