2021 Quick Start Grant Recipients
New Buildings Institute
New Buildings Institute will enroll 32 sites in a field test of emerging 120V HPWH technology.
Fuel-switching from gas water heating to a HPWH often triggers expensive and time-consuming electrical upgrades, including panel upgrades and home rewiring when the home is not set up to accommodate a new 240V appliance. Such upgrades can add thousands of dollars to retrofit costs and the time and expense required pose a significant barrier to fuel-switching, especially when a customer is seeking an emergency water heater replacement.
Emerging 120V HPWH technology is a potentially game-changing retrofit solution, as it can plug in to existing wall outlets, and therefore does not require expensive electrical upgrades. NBI will install HPWH at 32 sites, with at least 12 (40%) in low-income households and BIPOC communities. The project will collect field performance data and conduct surveys on customer and installer satisfaction with the new equipment.
Theory of Change
This field study has the potential to provide the credibility and financial benefits for plug-in HPWH, which are poised to break open the HPWH market by removing a critical barrier for HPWH adoption. Lessons learned from this project can advance market commercialization for this technology and provide actionable guidance and education for the buildings industry, helping with quick scaling and commercialization of the technology.