Voltex® Hybrid Electric Helps Veteran Contractor Save 73 Percent on Water Heating Bills

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    Case Notes

    When a professional plumbing contractor selects a new water heater for his own home, chances are he’ll choose the solution that will be the most durable, cost efficient and easy to install.


    Just ask Michael DeMattia, a veteran plumbing contractor with three decades of experience in technology sales, who replaced the failing standard electric water heater at his Hyde Park, Massachusetts, home in fall 2016. He found the right solution with a 50-gallon A. O. Smith Voltex hybrid electric heat pump water heater.


    “The energy savings have been outstanding,” said DeMattia. “I have a separate circuit for the water heater, and the standard electric was costing us about $34 a month in electricity. But with the Voltex unit, my bill has dropped to less than $9 a month. That’s more than a 73 percent savings right there in black and white.”


    DeMattia has been installing water heaters for more than a decade, so he knows that savings of that magnitude are rare.


    “As someone who has spent a 30-year career in technology sales, I am aware of how a salesman will exaggerate a bit,” he said. “But when you can save $3,000 in just a decade, that’s remarkable.”


    The hybrid electric heat pump generates the greatest savings and quickest payback in states where the average temperatures are colder and electricity rates are higher. DeMattia noted that states like Maine – which has a large installed base of electric water heaters and high electric rates – could see similar savings from A. O. Smith Voltex technology.


    “This technology becomes a very viable solution in those states,” he said. “The future is bright for heat pump water heaters because the technology is a no-brainer in areas where electric water heaters are common.”


    Energy Savings—and Performance


    Counting the upstairs and basement, the DeMattia home is about 2,600 square feet – and the Voltex unit has always provided ample hot water.


    “We have two full bathrooms,” said DeMattia. “Our family of four takes probably five or six showers a day. We also have a dishwasher and front-loader washing machine, and the Voltex heater does a great job of meeting our hot water demand.”


    Voltex hybrid electric heat pump water heaters, available in 50-, 66- and 80-gallon versions, are a part of A. O. Smith’s commercial-grade ProLine® XE lineup, which is available exclusively through professional plumbing contractors. The Voltex heat pump was designed for energy-efficient performance and is capable of delivering 66 gallons of hot water in the first hour.


    “The Voltex was easy to install in our basement,” DeMattia said. “This model is very compact – just a little bit larger than the standard electric model it replaced.”


    The energy-efficient heat pump inside the Voltex unit pulls heat from the surrounding air through a fan on the top of the heater. The heat is absorbed by a refrigerant in the heat pump's evaporator coil and the temperature of the refrigerant is increased as it is pumped by a compressor. Hot refrigerant is passed through the condenser coil around the tank and transfers the heat to the water.


    DeMattia has been pleased not just with his new electricity bill but also with the product’s worry-free performance, which he expects will continue for years to come. “We set it on Efficiency mode and haven’t touched it since the day it was installed,” he said.


    Personal Experience Influences Sales


    In practice, DeMattia says advanced, energy-efficient water heating technology provides contracting firms a mutually beneficial conversation starter with customers that provides lasting benefits for the homeowner — and boosts sales numbers. 


    “We find ourselves recommending heat pump water heaters regularly to our customers with electric water heaters, urging them to consider becoming part of the green revolution and saving a significant amount money in the process,” DeMattia said. “Having had an exceptional personal experience, my enthusiasm for heat pump water heater solutions is boundless.”


    DeMattia added, “It goes without saying, the best salesman is the best customer—I bring my own personal experience to every customer interaction.”