Bringing Heat Pump Water Heaters into the Mainstream

Report / February 10, 2021 / Building Innovation

The Advanced Water Heating Initiative (AWHI) Playbook and 2020 Progress Report summarizes the activities of AWHI through the end of 2020. The West Coast AWHI has made tremendous progress in the two years it has been underway. The Intiative includes four dedicated working groups, each of whom is identifying and addressing policy, market, and technical barriers for different heat pump water heater (HPWH) applications. The working groups are coordinating research efforts, developing technology road maps, engaging manufacturers, educating and advocating to policy makers and program administrators.


In this report we’ve documented progress organized by the three strategic focus areas, followed by AWHI's 2021 priorities and plans for national expansion. The full progress report provides details by working group around advancing specific technologies and methods. It also, importantly, serves as a playbook and motivator for policy, programs, and market actors across the U.S. to work simultaneously and collaboratively toward these same goals.

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Additional Resources

Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWHs) are a decades-old, proven technology, and are two to four times more efficient than electric resistance or standard gas water heaters. They are also part of a growing number of programs and policies for energy efficiency, demand response and decarbonization. The AWHI was formed in 2019 to address the need to build the market share for HPWHs.

2020 Progress Snapshot.  This four-page document summaries progress on the AWHI efforts to make high-efficiency, low-carbon impact, grid-connected HPWHs 45% of the West Coast’s market share for water heating. AWHI has now targeted a national initiative to help support this goal.

On-demand webinar about the Advanced Water Heating Initiative.  In this webinar, NBI and initiative partners provide an introduction to the initiative, followed by a moderated panel session on the work being done to build market demand and advance HPWH technology in both residential and commercial applications.

More on the Advanced Water Heating Initiative. For an overview of the program, partners, information on how heat pump water heater technology works, and reasons why water heating is an important strategy for building decarbonization, visit our AWHI page.

Read the 2020 Snapshot Watch the webinar Learn more