First Year Electric Usage

SaltiDawgJune 14, 2011

I came here last year and got lots of advice about replacing my 37year old oil furnace and my 24 year old central air. I ultimately went with a Heat Pump and an oil furnace.

Those Carrier equipments were installed in May. I replaced my electric hot water with a GE heat pump hot water heater in August. I am here to report the results of my electric usage for the last year. I live in suburban Maryland outside DC. Our electric rates are right around 20 Cents per Kwh. Oil prices have been all over, but when I had oil delivered in Feb it was over $4 per gallon.

In the last 12 months we've used 19.3% less electricity then in the preceding 12 months with the difference being a new heat pump for those 12 months and a heat pump electric hot water heater for 9 1/2 of those months. The dollar savings was $670.22. (21,833 Kwh vs 17,624 Kwh and $3401.47 vs $2731.25)

Last June and August were the hottest and near hottest June Augusts on record. Prior to the new Heat Pump, we kept the thermostat at 77 degrees and the system could not keep up with demand upstairs. Typically on hot days the temp would approach 80 degrees. With the new system we set the thermostat to 75 degrees and it kept up with that - only occasionally rising to 76 in the late afternoon on the hottest of days.

With about a $50 per month savings on hot water costs, I'd estimate the actual savings on electricity cost is about $800 per year in 2011 rates. (There are just two of us here, so we never use the electric backup heaters in the hot water heater.)

Needless to say, my wife and I are happy to have a significantly more comfortable home in the summer. We also like the lower temperature with longer run times associated with the Heat Pump in heat mode.

I believe most of the dollar savings is due to the hot water heat pump, but the increase in comfort of the house is priceless!

My oil usage was comparable to prior years, but next year I intend to lock out the oil furnace above either 25 or 30 degrees. This will erode some of the electric savings but help reduce the oil bills. It's definitely an ongoing learning experience for me.

Thanks to you all for the help you gave me.

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I would lock out the oil at 30 degrees. I am sure you could go lower but "IF" something happened to the heat pump and you were away for an extended period the chances of anything freezing are slim and none.

If you want to save more energy as the temps start to approach 90 I would try to acclimate to setting the stat at 76 and possibly 77 unless you have dehumidify functions on your system/stat. The longer the run time the better job it should do with humidity which might allow you to bump the temp up a degree or so. Even one degree will make a noticeable difference.

I am sure the comfort level comparison is huge and the energy savings is just an extra bonus.

How noisy is the water heater? I was seriously considering one but have decided to go with a marathon by Rheem with the lifetime warranty poly tank so I will never have to lug it back up out of the basement. I may eventually add a stand alone heat pump water heater to the marathon.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:00PM
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The water heater is quite noisy. Mine is located in my basement so noise is not a concern. It really might be an issue in a utility room off the kitchen, for example. Also, if located in a conditioned space the unit does give off cold air.

I see that Home Depot is carrying a Rheem unit that appears identical in appearance to the GE unit. However, while less expensive, in reading the specs it appears to be a stripped down version.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:11AM
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yes. GE 2.3 energy factor, Rheem 2.0 energy factor
GE offers $80 for 10years parts and service warranty.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:52AM
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