TEP customer Eugene Ye takes steps to mitigate his impact on the environment.
He recycles. He plants trees for backyard shade. He checks the window seals in his home on Tucson’s Northwest side to prevent drafts.
An engineer by trade, he also likes to research cost and functionality when it’s time to get a new appliance – which is how he ended up purchasing a new heat pump water heater.
“I came here from Chicago, where the winter is long and heating is a huge expense, so I learned over time to be cognizant of how I’m using energy,” Ye said.
Water heaters are typically the second highest user of energy in a home – right behind heating and cooling systems. Relatively new and gaining popularity, heat pump units are up to three times more efficient than conventional models. Rather than relying on conventional radiant heating elements, they pull heat from the surrounding air to warm the water in the tank.
TEP is currently offering a $400 rebate to residential customers who purchase and install a qualified ENERGY STAR® Heat Pump Water Heater equipped with a programmable timer/controller.
Ye determined that with TEP’s rebate, the improved efficiency, and his participation in TEP’s Time-Of-Use programs, he could quickly recover the upfront cost.
Ye’s partner, Lisa Larkin, has been similarly impressed with the change. “I’m just glad we’re saving energy and that there’s been no difference in the quality of our hot water,” said Larkin, who owns a real estate firm. “Green features increasingly are an important way to increase the value of your home, so it’s just silly not to adopt new technologies when it’s time to make an investment in your home.”
Tammy McKay, a Residential Energy Efficiency Program Manager at TEP, said teaching customers about their energy use is the first step in helping them get the most value out of their energy service. Financial incentives, including rebates, often help support them in making adjustments to save energy, she said.
“It’s a win for customers as well as for the environment when we’re able to work together to make our community greener.”