Hot Water = Clean Planet

Is your gas water heater more than 10 years old? If so, it is probably approaching the end of its life, so plan in advance and get ready to replace it with a clean all-electric heat pump water heater (HPWH). Heat pump technology provides >4 times the efficiency of a gas alternative, so it uses much less energy to run. This will save you money on your monthly bill. In fact, these are so efficient and clean that they will be required by state law in all new residential construction next year. 


We are in a climate crisis, and we must stop burning fossil fuels such as gas in order to reduce our carbon emissions. Luckily, highly efficient all-electric alternatives such as heat pump water heaters, heat pump space heaters (to replace your gas furnace and your AC unit, and induction cooktops (to replace your gas cooktop) are all available now.


You do need to plan ahead for being ready for installing an efficient all-electric heat pump water heater by getting a 220V line ready for it. Some people already have an extra 220V line, but most people need to have someone install the line. You may also need to upgrade your electric panel to accommodate the extra 220V line. 


The state has launched a program called TECH in which approved installers (see: for list) will get a $3000 rebate from the state for each HPWH that they install, and this rebate should be passed on to the homeowner. 


Heat pump water heaters cost slightly more than gas water heaters, but with rebates, are usually comparable in price. Last year, SDG&E provided rebates of $500 (paid for by ratepayer money, but still…) for the purchase of HPWH. That program ended at the end of 2021, but SDG&E says they plan to start those rebates again sometime this year. With the greatly increased energy efficiency and the recent big increase in the cost of natural gas, you will save on your monthly bill and recoup your investment relatively rapidly. Plus, you will help save the planet! If you have any questions about installing a HPWH in your house, the San Diego Building Electrification Coalition’s Tech Assist, at can answer your questions. 

The AO Smith 50 gallon heat pump water heater that was installed in our garage last year. The heat pump sits atop the water tank (the black component in the picture) and extracts heat from the air to heat the water and vents cool air to the garage. Photo by Ann Feeney.