If yours is one of the 750,000+ homes in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts that heats domestic hot water (DHW) with an oil-fired boiler, it’s hard to ignore the roar in your basement as the boiler fires up to make hot water while sunshine pours down onto your roof, especially in the summer.
This is a terribly inefficient (and therefore environmentally harmful) way to make hot water, but the good news is you can save hundreds of gallons of oil per year by switching to a heat pump water heater, and powering it with solar.
Using the same refrigerant process as an air source heat pump, heat pump water heaters efficiently leverage the ambient air of your home for water heating.
Starting in January 2023, you can receive a 30% tax credit for heat pump water heaters, capped at $2,000 per year. The credit resets each tax year, effectively becoming available again for additional projects.
Additionally, there are further credits for low-moderate-income households, thanks to the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA). For low-income households (under 80% of Area Median Income), HEEHRA covers 100% of your heat pump water heater costs up to $1,750. For moderate-income households (between 80% and 150% of Area Median Income), HEEHRA covers 50% of your heat pump water heater costs up to $1,750.
Total HEEHRA discounts across all qualified electrification projects are capped at $14,000.
All of this efficiency translates to savings, with bonus basement dehumidifying! Plus, many states offer cash rebates for installing them.
We currently use Stiebel Eltron Accelera heat pump water heaters for a number of reasons. We are very familiar with the brand, having used Stiebel Eltron’s equipment in rooftop solar hot water installations for years, and appreciate their excellent quality and long warranty (10 years).
Due to its much lower electric consumption, a heat pump water heater needs only about 1/3 of the PV modules to generate the electricity for domestic hot water compared to a resistive electric tank.