Heat-pump water heaters

Last updated: 25 May 2021

A heat-pump water heater uses heat from the surrounding air to heat water in a storage tank.

They work on the same principle as reverse-cycle air conditioners, by extracting heat from the air using a refrigerant gas that is then pressurised in a compressor. The pressurised refrigerant transfers the heat to the water in the storage tank (like a heat exchanger).

Suitable conditions for heat-pumps

The amount of heat transferred to the water in the storage tank depends on the surrounding air temperature.

A heat-pump water heater is worth considering for most Victorian households. It can provide additional economic and environmental benefits if your home has a solar PV system that is generating more electricity than your household's daytime demand.

Ensure the heat pump you choose is rated to perform well in your local climate.

Energy efficiency and running costs

A heat-pump water heater uses much less electricity than an electric storage water heater. This is because it only requires electricity to drive the compressor and the fan, instead of using electricity to heat the water directly, with an electric element.

Compare running costs of hot water systems

Government incentives

There are incentives available to Victorians replacing an existing hot water system with a heat-pump water heater:

  1. Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
  2. Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs), also known as the Energy Saver Incentive.
  3. Solar hot water rebate

Each incentive has varying eligibility requirements, so talk to your hot water system supplier about what is available to you.