Better Buildings Alliance Commercial Heat Pump Water Heater Specification

The Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) has released a specification for commercial heat pump water heaters that outlines energy-related product requirements. Purchasers can use the specification today to ensure they are procuring a high-efficiency, high-quality product from manufacturers.

An older, electric resistance water heater operated in a building with a hot water demand of 500 gallons a day, 365 days a year can cost over $3,500 each year in electricity costs. A new heat pump water heater that meets the BBA specification would use 70% less energy and could save $12,500 over 5 years. If all commercial electric storage water heaters in the U.S. were replaced with heat pump water heaters per the BBA specification, businesses would save 15 TWh of energy, or about $1.5 billion in energy costs per year.

If you are interested in saving energy and saving on your business's utility bills consider using this specification when procuring a new heat pump water heater.

How to Use the Specification

STEP 1: Answer the following set of questions to determine if a heat pump water heater is right for your building. If you answer "yes" to the first two questions and at least one other question, adding a heat pump to your electric or gas storage water heater is likely to be a value-generating option for your building.

  1. Do you use a storage water heater in your building?
  2. Does your water heater have a nominal input rating of more than 6 kW (20,473 Btu/hr)?
  3. Are you constructing a new facility or performing major renovations that involve changes to the water heating system?
  4. Is your current electric storage water heater more than 10 years old?
  5. Are your local electricity costs high, or are you concerned they will rise in the near future?
  6. Are you seeking an ENERGY STAR® label or a green building certification?

STEP 2: Find financial incentives you may qualify for on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website. Then calculate the financial savings you could achieve by switching to a high efficiency water heater.

STEP 3: Download the BBA water heater specification template, and develop a customized specification to reflect your specific site's needs.

STEP 4: Send your customized specification to one or more manufacturers to get quotes.

STEP 5: Purchase and install a heat pump water heater and start saving money and energy!

Additional Information

Below are links to additional resources demonstrating building energy savings and annual operating cost savings from buildings using heat pump water heaters.