Board Approves $500,000 to Expand Heat Pump Water Heater Program

In June 2019 Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) launched the FutureFit Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) pilot initiative, with a goal of 100 residential installations in existing homes in the area. Within just a few months, the program was fully subscribed, and more than 50 heat pump water heater installations are already complete. This fast uptake prompted the SVCE Board to study and approve $500,000 for the new ‘Phase 2’ offering in 2020, to support even more customers cutting carbon emissions from their water heating.

Natural gas burning water heaters and furnaces account for approximately 80-90% of all emissions from our homes and buildings. With the transformation of the utility grid to carbon-free electricity, there is a much cleaner alternative for keeping your water hot. All-electric HPWHs are highly efficient and are being adopted rapidly across the country.

The initial pilot was launched in collaboration with local city staff. Funding was provided by SVCE, and from a Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) grant focused on advancing the community’s goals to transition from fossil fuels to clean electricity.

The pilot program provided an incentive amount that made installing a new electric heat pump water heater about the same cost as retrofitting to a natural gas water heater. In addition, customers receive whole-home energy monitoring to assist them in optimizing their overall utility bill, and track HPWH energy usage over a two-year period.

SVCE plans to release a detailed report on the pilot by early next year. In the meantime, please check out our public tracker to see installation locations, project costs, and contractors participating in this effort, as well as plans for Phase 2.