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Electrify San José – Heat Pump Water Heater Incentive Program
Expected to launch in fall 2019, Electrify San José is a new program that will provide incentives for households to switch from a natural gas water heater to an electric heat pump water heater. Qualified low-income households will be eligible for additional incentives.

Join our mailing list to be the first to know when the program launches.

Electrify San José will help homes switch from fossil-fuel based energy sources to electricity, helping reach our Climate Smart San José goals for zero net carbon (ZNC) building and citywide greenhouse gas reduction to improve public health, environment and economy.

Additional ways to move towards a ZNC home include:

Heat Pump Water Heater Diagram
Image Source: SCI REMC
What is an electric heat pump water heater and how does it work?
Heat pump water heaters are two to three times more efficient than gas water heaters. They use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. To move the heat, heat pumps work like a refrigerator in reverse. While a refrigerator pulls heat from inside a box and dumps it into the surrounding room, a stand-alone air-source heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and dumps it at a higher temperature into a tank to heat water.

Does a heat pump water heater work if the outside air is too cold?
Yes. While this is unlikely in San José’s climate, if it gets too cold, an electric heat pump water heater will switch to backup coils and run just like an electric resistance water heater.

What are the benefits of switching from a gas water heater to an electric heat pump water heater?
  • Lower Energy Bills – While an Energy Star®-certified heat pump water heater costs slightly more upfront, the energy cost savings will pay for its additional costs in about three years for a typical home.
    Source: Energy Star
  • Healthier and More Comfortable Living Spaces – Burning natural gas creates emissions of unhealthy gases such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde. Eliminating these emissions in your water heater or stovetop will improve indoor air quality while cooling the surrounding areas.
  • SMART Home – Most heat pump water heaters can be connected to Wi-Fi and to your smartphone for setting schedules and important alerts like water leak detection.
  • More Energy-Efficient and Climate Smart – Heat pump water heaters can be two to three times more energy-efficient than conventional electric resistance and natural gas water heaters, reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.

What are the benefits of a heat pump when used with solar electricity?
During the day when the sun is shining, rooftop solar panels harvest solar energy and convert it to be used in your home as electricity. Because heat pump water heaters are powered by electricity, pairing the heat pump with rooftop solar could effectively reduce the cost to run it compared to running it without solar. For more information on how to get solar, visit our Solar Energy page.

Will I need a building permit to replace my gas water heater?
Yes, your installation contractor will need to pull a permit with the City’s Building Division. For more information, call or visit the Permit Center at San José City Hall.

For more information or questions on Electrify San José, please email .