Northwest Utilities Introduces Game-changing Water Heating Technology
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Since 1997, Northwest energy utilities and energy efficiency organizations have worked together to support the introduction of innovative technologies to market through the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). GE recently announced advancements on a proven technology that can help bring about enormous energy savings to the region, the GeoSpring Heat Pump Water Heater.

Improving technology for northern climates
Made in Louisville, Ky., the GeoSpring heat pump water heater is designed to deliver stellar performance for all climates and installation locations, including colder climates in the Northwest and throughout the country. This is the first product to meet the highest efficiency tier of the Northern Climate Specification that NEEA helped develop with Northwest utilities and other regional stakeholders. NEEA also conducted independent testing to verify the product’s performance.

As one of the most energy-efficient water heating solutions designed for northern climates, GE’s GeoSpring heat pump water heater offers improved performance through advanced compressor technology and works at temperatures as low as 35 degrees. A new ducting kit allows for installation in more locations, enabling widespread consumer adoption of this efficient technology. GE estimates that the GeoSpring is up to 69 per cent more efficient compared to a standard electric water heater, saving the average household USD$388 year.

“Thanks to our collaboration with Northwest utilities and NEEA over the past several years, GE GeoSpring heat pump water heaters have experienced tremendous growth in the Northwest,” said Francois Lebrasseur, marketing manager for GE Appliances. “The GE product development team was able to leverage NEEA’s extensive knowledge of what the region needed most, and introduce several product improvements to help Northwest consumers save energy without sacrificing product quality.”

Making an impact
Currently 55 per cent of Northwest homes have electric water heaters. If all of those homes used high-efficiency heat pump water heaters, the region could save nearly 500 average megawatts by 2025 which is the equivalent to powering all the homes in Seattle and Boise annually.
Over the past three years, Northwest utilities and NEEA have influenced the sale of over 5,000 heat pump water heaters, paving the way for this technology. This momentum coincides with Federal efficiency standard updates taking effect April 2015 for large tank water heaters (greater than 55 gallons). Heat pump water heaters will be the only product meeting the improved efficiency standards.

“Heat pump water heaters have seen significant growth in the market, but innovations like these from GE are needed for broad-based acceptance in the market,” said Jeff Harris, chief transformation officer, NEEA. “Not only will heat pump water heaters now work even better in colder climates, but even more consumers will be able to experience the benefits of high efficiency water heating in their homes.”
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA leverages its regional partnerships to effect market transformation by accelerating the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. 

Since 1997, NEEA and its partners including Avista Utilities, Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County PUD, Clark Public Utilities, Cowlitz PUD, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Energy Trust of Oregon, Idaho Power, NorthWestern Energy, Pacific Power, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Snohomish County Public Utilities, and Tacoma Power have saved enough energy to power more than 700,000 homes each year. Energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live. 

About GE Appliances
GE Appliances is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people’s lives. GE Appliances’ products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters. General Electric works on things that matter to build a world that works better. 

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