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High Efficiency Water Heater Program

ENERGY STAR® Heat Pump Water Heater and High Efficiency Electric Storage Water Heater Program


The Electric Storage Water Heater Program (ESWHP) provides a means, and encourages members of Choptank Electric Cooperative (CEC), to purchase energy efficient electric storage water heaters and high efficiency heat pump water heaters instead of standard units. To encourage participation and overcome the additional cost barriers, CEC is offering an incentive toward the purchase of energy efficient electric storage water heaters and heat pump water heaters. 

The focus of the ESWHP is on equipment replacement, retrofit and new construction in the residential market. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on the replacement of fossil-fueled water heaters with high efficiency electric storage water heaters and heat pump water heaters. 



The ESWHP provides a rebate at Two Levels with regard to the Storage Capacity and [1]Energy Factor (EF) of the electric water heaters. The ESWHP is not brand specific; the member replacing the fossil-fuel water heater with a storage water heater, may choose any manufacturer and respective model, provided the unit meets the ESWHP Storage Capacity and Energy Factor criteria. THE HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER MUST BE ENERGY STAR® COMPLIANT. The most recent/updated Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Directory will be used as the basis to certify the water heater with regard to manufacturer, model, storage capacity and EF.

Take Advantage of Incentives and Tax Credits

Choptank Electric Cooperative offers an incentive for purchasing ENERGY STAR certified HPWHs. Certified HPWHs also qualify for a $300 Federal Tax Credit in 2016.

ENERGY STAR® Compliant Heat Pump Water Heater (30 Gallon Storage Capacity or Higher) Fossil-Fuel Water Heater Replaced with Electric Water Heater Energy Factor (EF) .95 (30 Gallon Storage Capacity or Higher)
$300 $250

[1] Energy factor (EF) is the annual energy delivered divided by the annual energy input.  It is used for water heaters in an attempt to rate and express annual operating efficiencies on a comparative basis.  A common set of operating conditions (including incoming and holding water temperatures, ambient temperatures and usage) is assumed so that the EF can be measured in a rating laboratory for all water heaters of a given class.  The value reflects a comparative annual energy usage efficiency that includes both steady state efficiency and standby losses.  An electric resistance water heater has steady state efficiency near 100%, but the standby losses depend on how well the holding tank is insulated, among other things. 


Choose an Energy Star® Certified Electric Storage Water Heater 

Electric storage water heaters that have earned the ENERGY STAR are independently certified to save energy, save you money, and help prevent climate change. In fact, they:

  • Use less than half the energy of a standard electric storage water heater
  • Can save a four-person household $330 per year in energy bills

To improve efficiency, ENERGY STAR certified electric storage water heaters use a highly efficient heat pump – essentially a refrigerator run in reverse – to transfer heat from the surrounding air to the water. They are referred to as heat pump water heaters (HPWHs).


How Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWHs) Work

It's generally easier to move something than to make something. Putting that principle to use, HPWHs use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly.

To understand the concept of heat pumps, imagine a refrigerator working in reverse. While a refrigerator removes heat from an enclosed box and expels that heat to the surrounding air, a HPWH takes the heat from surrounding air and transfers it to water in an enclosed tank.

During periods of high hot water demand, HPWHs switch to standard electric resistance heat (hence they are often referred to as “hybrid” hot water heaters) automatically.  HPWHs come with control panels that allow you to choose and select from different operating modes, which include:

  • Efficiency/Economy-Maximizes energy efficiency and savings by only using the heat pump to heat water
  • Auto/Hybrid-The default setting is ideal for daily use, providing energy-efficient water heating with sustained heat
  • Electric/Heater-This high-demand setting is the least energy-efficient, using only the electric element to heat water
  • Vacation & Timer (not available on all models)-Saves on your energy when away from home by placing the unit in “sleep” mode until you return

Contact Thomas Tyndall, Energy Program Coordinator, for more information at or 1-877-892-0001 Ext. 8633.

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