Gas Water Heating Initiative
Over the long term, the Initiative goal is to increase market penetration of high efficiency water heaters. This will be achieved when consumers request high efficiency equipment and when plumbing contractors, builders, and retailers successfully promote a range of high efficiency equipment.
Recent government statistics show that market penetration of highly efficient gas and electric water heaters remains very low. While new technologies offer significant energy savings, heightened installation considerations and lack of contractor familiarity with these products hinder uptake. Additionally, gas storage water heaters face significant challenges in terms of cost, due in part to installation requirements. While the technologies used by high efficiency gas and electric water heaters are different, the fundamental market challenges are the same: emergency replacement, consumer awareness, and installation challenges that result in low customer uptake.
These barriers have led members to adopt new approaches in the water heater market and to focus on customer engagement and contractor and consumer awareness and education.
Binational outreach to contractors and installers continued through a variety of channels that leveraged the Coalition for ENERGY STAR® Water Heaters platform. Messages alert target audiences to market entry and benefits of highly efficient residential water heating products. The new platform has significant impact and requires strategic information sharing and engagement.
In light of common messaging with electric products, emerging member interest, and product readiness reports from the Emerging Technologies Collaborative, the Consortium launched a new work area, the CEE Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) Committee. Resources produced last year include the CEE Heat Pump Water Heater Product Overview document, CEE Catalog of HPWH Assessments, and CEE 2015 HPWH Program Summary.
How to Participate
Supporting the goals of the Gas Water Heating Initiative requires efforts to increase the general level of awareness of efficient gas-fired water heating options among consumers and contractors. As well, members demonstrate their support of new high efficiency water heating technologies, along with ongoing work to:
- incorporate the CEE efficiency specifications for water heaters in incentive programs, aligning with at least one CEE Residential Water Heating Specification
- undertake awareness programs that use the communication strategies developed by the CEE committee
Note: Adoption of the NOx emission specification is optional for participation in this Initiative except where required by state law. It is certainly encouraged.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company
Berkshire Gas Company
Black Hills Energy
Cascade Natural Gas
City of Palo Alto Utilities
Consolidated Edison Company
DC Sustainable Energy Utility
Delta Natural Gas
Energy Trust of Oregon
Focus on Energy—Wisconsin
Great Plains Natural Gas
New Mexico Gas Company
Nicor Gas Company
Northern Indiana Public Service
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Puget Sound Energy
San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Southern Connecticut Gas