GE Hybrid Water Heater

With advanced heat pump technology combined with traditional electric elements, this new GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater has been designed with maximum energy efficiency in mind. The tank portion of this ENERGY STAR® qualified electric water heater includes two electric heating elements, a pressure relief valve, an internal porcelain-lined tank and an anode rod. But what truly sets this product apart is just above the tank.

The GE Hybrid water heater is ENERGY STAR® qualified The energy efficient GE Hybrid water heater exceeds 2010 ENERGY STAR standards with an energy factor rating (EF) of 2.35. The energy factor indicates a water heater's overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater will be.

  • GE electric heat pump water heater – 2.35 EF
  • Standard electric water heater – 0.88 EF

That means a GE electric heat pump water heater:

  • Saves approximately $320* per year — that's $3,200 savings in energy costs over a 10-year period
  • Uses less than half the energy compared to a conventional 50-gallon tank water heater
  • Operates at 550 watts in eHeatT mode vs. 4,500 watts in standard electric mode
  • Exceeds ENERGY STAR requirement of 2.0 Energy Factor (EF) with a rating of 2.35 EF

Savings, Rebates & Tax Incentives

Save $320 per year in energy costs.* Let the savings begin! GE's Hybrid electric heat pump water heater can reduce water heating operating costs up to 62% and save the average household $320 per year on their electricity bills compared to a standard electric hot water heater. That means, over a 10-year period, these savings can add up to $3,200 for the average household.

The GE Hybrid water heater with heat pump technology is ENERGY STAR® qualified with an energy factor of 2.35. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act provides consumers with a 30% tax credit on the purchase and installation price of an ENERGY STAR heat pump water heater. That means a consumer could receive a tax credit of $450 or more depending on income level, retail price and installation cost. Find out more on Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency.

In addition, the economic stimulus package enacted in February of 2009 appropriated $300 million in ENERGY STAR rebates for the purchase of products like heat pump water heaters. And state tax incentives or various utility rebates may also be available in your area. Check with your state department of revenue office for more information.

Energy Savings

Cut water heating energy usage by up to 62%. Did you know that residential electric water heaters are the highest energy users in U.S. households behind air heating and cooling systems? It's true.

In fact, if you combine the energy consumed by your refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and clothes dryer, these appliances would use less energy than your current standard water heater.

But recent technological advancements and increasing energy prices have pushed water heaters to the forefront of emerging high efficiency, energy-conscious products. And GE is leading the way by developing a solution that offers the same amount of hot water for the entire family, while using significantly less energy than a standard water heater.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the $320 per year in savings calculated for the GE Hybrid?

The $320 per year in savings is calculated based on a Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure comparing a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater using 4,881 kilowatt-hours per year versus the GE Hybrid water heater using 1,856 kilowatt-hours per year. The GE Hybrid water heater saves 3,025 kilowatt-hours per year comparatively. The kWh savings is multiplied by the national average electricity rate of 10.65 cents per kilowatt-hour, which equals $322 per year in savings. For simplicity, GE rounds the savings to $320 per year.

The DOE test procedure mentioned above is the same test procedure used to determine the Annual Operating Cost printed on the product's Energy Guide Label. A standard electric water heater using 4,881 kWh per year at 10.65 cents per kWh would cost $520 per year to operate. The GE Hybrid water heater costs $198 per year to operate. Subtracting the two Energy Guide label values equals $322 in energy cost savings. In parts of the country where the cost of electricity exceeds 10.65 cents per kilowatt-hour, the annual savings may be higher than $320 per year. Conversely, if the cost of electricity is less than 10.65 cents per kWh, the annual savings may be less. For example, in August 2009, the average cost of electricity in the state of Florida was 12.26 cents per kWh. The estimated annual savings for a consumer paying 12.26 cents per kWh would be 3,025 kWh times $0.1226, which equals $370. Thus, this consumer could save up to $370 per year. (Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html.)

What are the different operating modes found in the GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater?
  • eHeat™ Mode (most energy efficient mode): The heat pump removes heat from the surrounding air, heats the water and moves the cooler air back into the room. Time required to heat water is longer in this mode, but should be adequate for normal demand households.
  • Hybrid Mode (default mode): Combines the energy efficiency of eHeat with the recovery speed and power of standard electric. The control automatically uses efficient eHeat unless the majority of hot water is consumed.
  • High Demand Mode: This mode is only necessary if a household has higher than average water usage or the unit is undersized for the household water demands. In this mode, the unit will use the electric heating elements only when the water demand is higher than normal. When using the heating elements, the water temperature will recover at a faster rate than eHeat or Hybrid modes, but it will take more energy to heat it. Unlike Standard Electric Mode, High Demand mode will only use the heating elements when needed.
  • Standard Electric Mode: Uses only the upper and lower heating resistance elements to heat the water. Time required to heat the water is faster than all other modes but it is the LEAST energy-efficient mode.
How does the GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater determine the operating modes?

Operating modes for the Hybrid heat pump electric water heater are user selected by following instructions on the Energy Menu. These settings are easily adjusted by touching either the up or down arrow and following the on screen instructions. See the Use and Care Manual for details.

Does the unit use multiple heat sources at the same time?

No. Only one heat source will be in use at a time providing greater energy efficiency while producing hot water.

Since the Hybrid water heater pulls heat out of the air in my home to heat the water in the water heater, doesn't it just make my furnace work harder to replace that heat in the air, thereby reducing the energy savings benefits of the Hybrid?

The GE Hybrid water heater energy efficiency claims are based on the Department of Energy test procedure which is performed at an ambient room temperature of 68F. Consumers' specific home conditions may vary from that standard and, indeed, yield different results. To help understand the impact of the Hybrid water heater on the HVAC system, first, you must determine whether or not the water heater is in a "conditioned space" which is defined as a room of the house that supplies return air to the HVAC system, or in an "unconditioned space" which is a space that does not supply return air to the HVAC system.

Typically water heaters are in "unconditioned spaces" such as garages, basements, and attics that do not provide an air supply to the HVAC system. Thus, any heat removed from these unconditioned spaces by the Hybrid water heater likely would not need to be replaced by increased operation of the furnace and would not have any impact on the operation or efficiency of the HVAC system. If the Hybrid water heater is in a "conditioned space" inside the home such as in a utility room, the cooling and dehumidifying effect of the Hybrid will decrease the load on the AC system during cooling months (summer) and increase the load on the furnace during heating months (winter). If the number of cooling months equals the number of heating months, these effects will roughly offset, and the user should still experience all the energy savings benefits of the Hybrid water heater as compared to a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater. If cooling months exceed heating months, the user may experience additional energy savings beyond the Hybrid water heater based on the DOE standard.

What is Vacation mode?

This feature is used when the homeowner is away from home for an extended period and hot water is not needed. In this mode, the temperature will drop the water temperature down to 50°F and will use the most efficient heating mode to conserve energy while the heater is sitting idle. The unit will automatically resume heating one day before the programmed return, so that hot water will be available.

What happens to the GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater in the event of a power outage in my home?

The Hybrid heat pump electric water heater will not work without electrical power. When power is restored after an outage the water heater will go through the dry fire process then automatically revert back to the original user setting.

What is the dry fire process?

Heating elements are designed to function in water. If not immersed in water, the intense heat they generate will cause the elements to burn out (dry fire). The Hybrid heat pump electric water heater utilizes the eHeat™ heat pump system to heat the tank and watch the tank temperature rise. If the heat rise is faster than it would be with water in the tank, the system will shut down and prompt the user to add water to prevent dry fire.

On initial start-up or after a power outage, how long does the unit take before it starts heating water?

Approximately eight (8) minutes. The fans will run and the dry fire routine will begin and accurately measure the room air and tank temperatures. (If unit was in standard electric mode prior to power outage, fans do not need to run at power restoration)

What conditions impact the sound of the fan motors?

The air is moved through the water heater by two fans located at the back of the water heater near the top. You will hear the sound of these fans pulling the air through the heat pump system of the water heater. As the water heater determines the right amount of energy needed to heat the water the fans will change speed and the sound will increase and decrease. Two factors that impact the sound of the fan motors:

  1. The ambient air temperature. The colder ambient temperature, the faster the fan speed.
  2. Average tank temperature. The lower average tank temperature, the faster the fans will run. The warmer the average tank temperature, the slower the fans will run.
What is the ambient temperature requirement to operate in eHeat™ mode?

In order to protect the eHeat™ system and for highest efficiency the Hybrid heat pump electric water heater will operate between 45°F – 120°F. Anything below or above this temperature range will cause the water heater to automatically operate in standard electric mode to continue to provide hot water.

What are the wattages of the heat sources?
  • eHeat™ – 550W
  • Upper Heating Element – 4,500W
  • Lower Heating Element – 4,500W

Note: Only one heating source in use at a time

What is the carbon footprint of the GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater?

Operating a GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater instead of a standard 50-gallon electric model could help a US household avoid up to 62% of CO2 emissions on the US grid from water heating.

If 25% of US households purchasing a new electric water heater in a given year were to choose GE's Hybrid electric heat pump water heater over a standard 50-gallon electric water heater more than 4 billion pounds of CO2 emissions on the US grid could be avoided annually, equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 360,000 cars on US roads.

Where can a GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater be installed?

Locate the water heater in a clean, dry area as near as practical to the area of greatest heated water demand. Long un-insulated hot water lines can waste energy and water. Because the units draws in air from the room to heat water, the room must be at least 10' x 10' x 7' (700 cubic feet) or larger. If the room is smaller, there must be a louvered door.

Why are there condensate drain tubes and what do they do?

Moisture or condensation can be a by-product of the GE Hybrid water heater depending on humidity and the run time of the heat pump. Condensate amount will vary according to these conditions. There are two drain hoses that are attached to the back of the heater. The primary drain hose is intended to carry all condensate away. If it is clogged or kinked, the condensate will exit the secondary drain tube (3") and onto the floor. This is intended as a notification to the user that the primary drain is clogged. The hose should be removed and cleared of debris and reattached.

Since the heater has a condensate tube, a drain must be available in close proximity to the unit. The drain must be no higher than 36" above the floor (laundry drain is acceptable). If no drain is available, then a common condensate pump with capacity no less than 1 gallon/hour must be purchased from a local builder or supply store and installed. See installation instructions for more detailed guidance.

What are the local condensate drain codes for the GE Hybrid electric heat pump water heater?

See local building and plumbing code.

Is a drain pan required?

A drain pan is not required but is recommended for installation in a finished room where you would want your flooring protected in the event of a leak.

Can the heating elements be replaced?

Yes. It is recommend that a professional plumber perform this service. Replacement elements are available at all plumbing wholesalers, and major homebuilder stores.

Can a recirculation pump be added to this unit?

Yes.

Is an expansion tank required?

Not unless specified by local building and plumbing codes.

Does the electronic control panel tell me my energy efficiency for each mode?

No. The electronic control panel will allow you to select between four (4) operating modes with a full description of which mode is the most energy efficient. See the Use and Care Manual for details on each mode.