General Electric has launched GeoSpring, the first hybrid electric water heater manufactured in the U.S., and one that will save the average consumer $325 annually, the company said.
The new product debuted on Friday and is part of GE's new emphasis on energy efficiency. "Obviously, the big emphasis here is on energy efficiency," said Steven Anderson, GE contract marketing and specialty products manager, during an event at the Cool Energy House in Orlando, Fla., during the National Association of Home Builders International Builders' Show last week. The GeoSpring is installed in the Cool Energy House and it was a highlight of the home tour, with a steady crowd gathering around the new appliance.
GE also is emphasizing energy efficiency in its stepped-up ad campaign this year, spending $65 million on ads in 2012 compared to just $10 million to $11 million annually in recent years, Anderson said.
The estimated retail price of the GeoSpring is $1,199 to $1,299. The estimated cost savings of $325 annually on utility bills means that the water heater could pay for itself in less than four years.
A standard electric water heater can cost an average homeowner $520 every year to operate. GeoSpring costs an average of $195 to operate annually and uses 62 percent less electricity than a standard electric water heater.
"There are very few products for your home that will save homeowners as much money as the GeoSpring," said Stephen Downer, GE product general manager for water products, in a press release. "With the state of today's economy, we're betting on acceptance of this technology from consumers who want to save money on their energy bills and support the GE employees in the U.S."
The GeoSpring combines energy-saving heat-pump technology with traditional electric heating systems used in most conventional water heaters on the market today.
This hybrid technology is designed to absorb heat in ambient air and transfer it into the water. Since this requires much less energy than the energy used to generate radiant heat — as used in a conventional electric tank water heater — the GeoSpring is more economical to operate. "Approximately 50 percent of U.S. households use a standard electric water heater," Downer said in the release. "If 25 percent chose a GeoSpring instead of a standard 50-gallon electric water heater, more than four billion pounds of CO2 emissions on the U.S. grid could be avoided annually — equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 360,000 cars on U.S. roads. That's a powerful way consumers can help the environment."
Other features of the GeoSpring include:
- The GeoSpring has the same footprint and electrical connections as the standard electric water heater, making it easy to install.
- The GeoSpring provides the same amount of hot water as traditional 50-gallon standard electric water heaters.
- The integrated electronics on the GeoSpring's control panel offer exclusive features, such as Vacation mode, which will lower the water temperature to 50 degrees for the duration of a trip, and then automatically reenergize itself on the day before the homeowner's return.
- The GeoSpring offers more control over water temperature, allowing you to adjust in one degree increments from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
State and local tax credits and utility rebates for purchasing the Energy Star-qualified water heater may also be available to benefit consumers.
Read more about energy efficient appliances.