Choosing to be a stay-at-home mom this year meant making financial sacrifices we had not previously been too concerned about. We canceled our cable, contacted our cellphone company to negotiate a discount, put student loans on hold, and began to look at ways to cut down on other bills. With my husband being knowledgeable in the field of “going green,” we decided to take a closer look at our utility bill to hopefully make some much needed cuts that would benefit not only us financially, but would put less strain on the grid. We needed these changes to be inexpensive and do-able with our talents.
We recently purchased a hybrid electric water heater and installed it as a DIY project. Most local power suppliers will offer rebates on these energy efficient units, ours for instance offered $500. The average savings per year on a hybrid water heater is roughly $350 or 60% compared to a conventional electric tank. A good way to look at the savings this tank can provide is comparing the wattage consumption of each unit. For example, your basic electric water heater consumes 4500 watts of electricity when heating water, equivalent to turning on 45 -100 watt light bulbs. When the hybrid electric tank heats water it draws 45 watts, equivalent to turning on 4.5 light bulbs. As we did the math on purchasing the unit, claiming the rebate from our power supplier, and saving roughly $350 on the first year of operation, it became a “no brainer” decision for us.
The hybrid electric water heaters utilize a small heat pump that is mounted on the upper portion of the tank. This uses the air in the space it is installed to work with the heat pump to produce your domestic hot water for your home. There are multiple mode settings on these units that are very user friendly and quite simple to use. Modes include “Heat Pump Only”, “Hybrid”, “Boost,” and “Electric.” “Heat Pump Only” is your most efficient setting and would provide your best efficiency during warm weather. “Hybrid” mode is the mode used to base the savings estimations on. This mode utilizes the heat pump when it gets its best efficiency and provides electric elements as backup when the heat pump may not keep up.
I have my unit on hybrid during the winter season as a heat pump won’t be as efficient in cold temperatures. “Boost” mode is used in the event of having a large demand for hot water. This mode will regenerate hot water at a much faster rate but provides no efficiency. “Electric” mode could be used as a back up method of water heating if the heat pump portion of the unit were to fail.
Our new hybrid electric water heater took about 3 hours to change over and will pay itself back in the first 7 months of operation. I recommend these units to anyone, especially if your local power provider offers rebates that help create a very quick “pay back”. All we needed to do was file the rebate through the companies website and show proof of purchase and a serial number.
Always take time to check out rebates from your local utility company in order to save money and to reduce strain on the grid. Do your research and plan ahead when shopping for appliances. Check the rebate catalog: PGE My Home Save Energy Money Rebates
I am looking forward to seeing a reduction in our next few utility bills in comparison to this time last year.
#PGEhome Instagram Photo Challenge Contest
There’s still time to enter! Visit the #PGEhome Instagram page and check out their Photo Challenge Contest. You have until November 23rd to enter. Pacific Gas and Electric will award a $100 gift card to “power your next energy efficiency project!”
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.