Hybrid Water Heaters
After space heating and cooling, water heating is typically the largest energy draw in a home, since hot water is necessary for so many household activities. Whether you are replacing an existing unit that is reaching its end of life, looking for the most efficient model for a new home, or seeking to upgrade an old inefficient unit, it pays to choose carefully.
Heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrid water heaters, represent the first large technological change in electric water heaters since their invention. Traditional electric water heaters utilize a pair of electric resistant elements to maintain a consistent temperature inside the storage tank. Up until the introduction of these new hybrid water heaters, most of the improvements to electric tank water heaters were involved adding insulation to the tank. So what’s different about this new hybrid models? Check out our Heat Pump Water Heaters page for more information.
A rebate of $300 – $600 is available for qualified installations of heat pump water heaters which replace existing electric storage water heaters. In addition, residents of Missoula County may be eligible for a $500 rebate from the county. To pre-qualify or apply for the rebate, visit the Missoula County website. Qualified installations require the purchase and installation of a qualified model in accordance with manufacturer specifications. To view a list of qualifying models, download the latest qualified product list (PDF)
Additional Water Heating Energy Saving Suggestions
- Conserve water. Your biggest opportunity for savings is to use less hot water. Take showers rather than baths and reduce shower time to five minutes. Install water-conserving shower-heads and faucet aerators.
- Insulate hot water pipes. Insulating hot water pipes will reduce losses as the hot water is flowing to your faucet and, more importantly, it will reduce standby losses when the tap is turned off and then back on within an hour or so.
- Lower the water heater temperature. Keep your water heater thermostat set at the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficient hot water. For most households, 120ºF water is fine. Each 10ºF reduction in water temperature will generally save 3–5% on your water heating costs. When you will be away from home for an extended period of time, you can turn the thermostat down to the lowest setting, or choose a model that offers a vacation setting which maintains a tank temperature of 50°F.