Pump It Up - Heat Pump Water Heater Education
Answer this brief questionnaire to learn more about heat pump water heaters and determine if one would be a good fit for your home.

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You got it! There are many great reasons to switch to a heat pump water heater!

Natural Gas
Great! Pump It Up is here to help homeowners transition from natural and propane gas water heaters to electric heat pump water heaters! There can be some added costs and considerations when switching fuel sources, such as updating your electrical panel or finding the right site in your house, but we think it’s worth it for better indoor air quality and a lower carbon footprint. That’s why we are here to support you in the process, and are even providing a $200 rebate to participants making the change from natural gas!
Changing from an existing electric water heater to a heat pump water heater is usually fairly straightforward and will help you save money and energy! You will be eligible for PSE’s instant rebated, but the City of Bellingham’s $200 Pump it Up rebate is only available when changing out a natural gas or propane water heater.
Other/Don't Know
Electric (left) & Gas (right) water heater diagrams

That’s OK! Does this picture help? That metal vent pipe or flue on top of a gas water heater (right) is a major giveaway. If you still aren’t sure, we can help you work through your individual situation.

Heated Living Spaces
The heat pump water heater makes a small amount of noise when it operates (just a low hum) and vents cold air, so it isn’t ideal to install it in the open in your living space. A closet, garage, basement, attic, utility/laundry room, or other separate space would be a better choice!
Heated or Semi-heated Basements, etc.
This is the perfect place for your heat pump water heater!
Unheated Garages, etc.
Unless this unheated space gets close to freezing in the winter, this may also a good place for your heat pump water heater!

For households changing from natural gas to an electric heat pump water heater, we are providing a special $200 rebate to help you make the change! Contact us to fill out a short form to be pre-approved for this rebate. Most households, regardless of existing fuel source, may be eligible for a $500 instant rebate from PSE (ask your contractor to apply for this when they purchase the equipment!) You can check the Energy Star website to see what IRS tax credits might be available for 2022.
Are you sure you don’t want free money? Go click Yes

There are a few more things about we’d like you to know about switching to a heat pump water heater. Click each topic to reveal the answer (and so we know you got the info!)

Should I wait until my current water heater breaks?
A broken water heater can feel like (and actually be) an emergency and people tend to install whatever type of water heater is available right away. Unfortunately, if you pick a lower efficiency model you will then be stuck with it for the next decade or so. We believe the benefits of heat pump water heaters, including improved indoor air quality and lower carbon footprint, make it worthwhile to change before your old one fails. Or, at the very least, make a budget and a plan so you are ready to upgrade to a heat pump water heater when your old one does finally fail.

Can I use my own contractor?
Yes, you can use any plumber or HVAC contractor you like (but make sure they are licensed and insured). Not all of them will be familiar with heat pump water heater installation so be sure that you discuss this with them before a site visit.

How much does it cost to run a heat pump water heater?
It costs around $225 per year to run the average heat pump water heater! This is less than half the cost of running a standard electric water heater and roughly breaks even with natural gas water heater operating costs (because natural gas is cheap – for now). Heat pump water heaters use significantly less fuel and contribute to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than either type of standard heater!

How much does it cost to install a heat pump water heater?
It can cost twice as much or more as installing a standard water heater due to higher materials costs, potential electrical upgrades requiring an electrician, and potential modifications to get it located in the right part of your home. That’s why Pump It Up is helping participants access up to $700 in rebates to help make it easier and more affordable to make the switch!

How do I apply for rebates?
If you are changing from a natural gas water heater to a heat pump water heater, Pump It Up would like to give you a $200 rebate! Contact Wendy (if you haven’t already) before the water heater is installed and she will have you fill out a simple form to pre-approve you for the rebate. Once your new heat pump water heater is installed, let us know! We’ll ask for some final paperwork and then send you a $200 check!

Your contractor can get you another $500 off your project when they purchase the equipment from their distributor. This is an instant rebate from Puget Sound Energy. Let us know if you would like a list of contractors that we know are using this program, or you can share this link with your own contractor to make sure they know how to get you the best deal. https://www.pse.com/en/rebates/water-heating/heat-pump-water-heater-rebate

You can check the Energy Star website to see what IRS tax credits might be available for 2022. Energy Star and the IRS provide information on how to apply for this, or you can talk to your tax preparer.