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Heat Pump Water Heaters Northern Climate Specification Updated
Nov 21, 2011
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The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), based in Portland, OR, revised the Northern Climate Specification for heat pump water heaters (HPWH) for the first time since the specification was released in October 2009.

Heat pump water heater manufacturers that work with NEEA include: and its partners to accelerate adoption of the technology in the Northwest include:
• Air Generate
• A.O. Smith
• Bosch
• GE
• Rheem

“Heat pump water heaters offer consumers substantial energy savings and cost savings, especially when compared with conventional electric water heaters,” said Kevin Wheeler, senior vice president, water heating for A.O. Smith Corp. “This is a worthwhile alternative for customers with an interest in renewable technologies as they relate to water heating. The Northern Climate Specification is an important step forward in the evolution of this technology, and we look forward to working with NEEA so that customers in the Northwest can take advantage of these new products.”

To accelerate the market’s adoption of heat pump water heaters in the Northwest, NEEA and its collaborators added three tiers of product compliance, with increasing levels of efficiency required for each.

The Northern Climate Specification addresses customer comfort, sound levels, and performance issues of heat pump water heaters in cold climates.

NEEA worked with The Northern Climate Heat Pump Water Heater Task Force, a group of more than 60 regional utilities and energy efficiency partners, as well as local and national energy organizations from across the northern United States and Canada.

"This updated spec will help ensure that heat pump water heater products deliver on their potential for substantial energy savings across the region,” said Jeff Harris, director of emerging technology at NEEA. “This is good for consumers, good for business, and good for the Northwest.”

A PDF of the full specification is on the NEEA web site: at www.neea.org

NEEA said water heating is a significant cost in Northwest homes and is estimated nationally at 17% of total residential home energy use – the biggest energy user after home heating and cooling. The 6th Northwest Power Plan said heat pump water heaters could save the region nearly 500 aMW by 2029, the equivalent power used by 381,500 homes each year (1 aMW = 8,760 megawatt hours).

“Delivering the most energy savings while not impacting customers’ comfort and lifestyle is the goal here,” said Dennis Rominger, energy efficiency expert, Puget Sound Energy. “Currently, the only time most of us think about our hot water heater is after it stops working. We want customers to purchase a new heat pump water heater and think minimally about it for the next 15 years. Encouraging manufacturers to design and test heat pump water heaters that perform well in our region is one step closer to getting us there throughout the Northwest. This new specification supports the advancement of heat pump water heaters in the region.”

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