By the Bronxville Green Committee
Feb. 15, 2023: Water heating is typically the second-largest energy expense in a home. Properly maintaining your water heater and choosing high-efficiency equipment can help you save energy, improve the comfort of your home, and contribute to a cleaner environment. But what’s the most energy-efficient, low-cost technology available to homeowners?
We’ve Got the Answer!
This winter, Bronxville is partnering with Sustainable Westchester, a nonprofit consortium of local municipalities, to help residents utilize and benefit from clean, renewable energy. This Energy Smart Homes program provides access to information about clean energy technologies and financial incentives, NYSERDA certified contractors, local resident testimonials and one-on-one assistance to help you make your home more energy efficient. Look for previous articles about the program and home energy audits in My Hometown Bronxville’s Sustainable Living tab.
Most hot water heaters fall into three categories: storage systems powered by gas/fuel oil or electricity, tankless systems powered by gas or electricity, and heat pump systems. Storage type systems keep 40-60 gallons of hot water ready for use at any time. Tankless systems heat the water as it’s needed by having it flow through the appliance. The last, and by far most efficient type, is powered by a heat pump.
Most water heaters rely on combustion to heat the water, which releases gases into your home that are potentially harmful to your health and contribute to climate change. Although electric models don’t release gas, they still rely on combustion and heat transfer. In contrast, heat pump water heaters use electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air. They transfer the heat to water enclosed in a tank which, as with other storage systems, is ready for use at any time.
Heat Pump Efficiency
Heat pump technology is incredibly efficient (it works for heating and cooling homes as well)! Although gas powered tankless water heaters have a reputation for being friendly to the environment, recent studies suggest that because they turn on and off ten times more often than traditional storage-type systems, they aren’t as energy efficient as you might expect. And like all systems based on combustion, they also release methane, a greenhouse gas.
In contrast, heat pump water heaters, which run on electricity, release no emissions into the home and they’re three times more energy efficient than combustion models. Their higher upfront costs can be offset by government incentives, and lower utility bills ensure a short pay-back period.
To fully understand the incentives available for heat pump water heaters (and clean heating & cooling technologies), Register for “Leveraging Rebates and Incentives for Home Energy Upgrades,” a webinar hosted by Sustainable Westchester on Thursday, February 16th at 7 p.m. Join Assemblyman Chris Burdick and State Senator Pete Harckham to learn about state, utility and Inflation Reduction Act incentives for weatherizing and electrifying your home. Speakers will include NYSERDA certified contractors and utility representatives.
Making energy upgrades to your home can be complicated and confusing. We’re available to provide further resources and help sort through your options. If you’re already installing new clean energy equipment, or scheduling a home energy audit, email us to confirm you’re receiving the maximum discounts and rebate benefits and put your name on the Village list of residents working to decrease our environmental footprint.
Learn more about the Energy Smart Homes program on our website and CONTACT US to get started. Comfort, safety, lower costs, and reducing your carbon footprint – a great way to start the new year!
The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization that is part of the Village of Bronxville. We work to propose and implement environmentally sustainable programs in our community. Visit our website and follow us on Instagram @bxvgreencommittee to learn more. Please consider joining our efforts.
The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization under Village government. We work with the Trustees and Village staff on programs that promote clean energy initiatives and sustainable ways of living. Our programs include The Bronxville Giving Garden, a community garden whose produce is donated to local groups; Take Back Day, when we collect items to be recycled; and Pollinator Pathways, which encourages adding native plants to our gardens. We believe everyone can make a difference by adopting simple, sustainable practices in daily life so we can work together to protect what we love -- our families, our homes and our town.