About six months ago I installed an Energy Efficient water heater. This unit is what is known as a heat pump water heater. For those not familiar with refrigeration, this works by moving heat instead of creating heat. By contrast, traditional electric water heaters use resistance coils to heat the water. This new unit also has traditional coils that can be used for high demand or high temperature settings as well.
I guess by now everyone is wondering what this has to do with the topics we discussed at PacketU. To better understand the relationship, you can see that this Water Heater is also Connected to the Internet. The primary reasons I wanted to connect it to the Internet was to schedule the modes around my family’s usage patterns and control vacation mode from a mobile phone. When purchasing this unit I was quite skeptical and was concerned about transitioning from a simple conventional model to a mode that literally has moving parts.
I wanted to follow up and share my experience and why I now believe this was a good decision. I have been tracking my energy usage since installation and the results are promising. Without changing any other habits or other changes that would affect our energy consumption, our electric bill has decreased by an average of $50.20 per month. Our actual consumption has decreased by 362.6kw/h per month. These savings are in comparison to the same five month period in 2015. There is even one extra day in the 2016 months (leap year) and we have consistently seen savings in usage and cost every month.
The cost of this unit was not insignificant. It is an 80 Gallon model and was about $1600. On the positive side, there were rebates of about $300 that we received from our utility company and I recall some tax breaks. Based on my estimation, this unit will literally pay for itself after about two years of operation. So while I despise adding complexity unnecessarily, the long-term cost savings here should prove worthwhile.
Disclaimer: This article includes the independent thoughts, opinions, commentary or technical detail of Paul Stewart. This
may or may does not reflect the position of past, present or future employers.