GE’s new hybrid water heater cuts energy use, wins award

GE GeoSpring hybrid hot water heater
GE GeoSpring hybrid hot water heater
General Electric’s new GeoSpring hybrid water heater has won first place in the Edison Best New Products Awards in the Lifestyle and Social Impact category.   GE won the award because its new water heater cuts the energy usage and the cost of water heating in the average home by more than 50%.   The GeoSpring uses heat pump technology to pull heat from the surrounding air and transfer it to the water tank, along with traditional electric heating elements.    By using both methods to heat water, the GeoSpring produces the same amount of hot water at the same temperature as a regular hot water heater but with much lower energy usage (up to 62% less energy per year).

After air conditioning and heating costs, the energy used to heat water becomes the largest energy cost in the average home.  So reducing the amount of energy used to make hot water can be a big deal.     GE estimates that compared to a standard electric 50 gallon tank, a GeoSpring can save a household $320 per year in energy costs (assuming a electricity cost of 10.65 per kWh, the national average).

The GeoSpring is very expensive at about $1500, compared to regular electric water heaters ($350 or so for a basic model), but you can get some federal  tax credits (and in some states, state tax credits or rebates too), to offset the higher upfront cost.  And after a few years of energy savings (which will increase if/when the cost of electricity increases), you’ll be in the green.

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