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Energy-Efficient Water Heating

Water heating accounts for the second largest portion of your electric bill. If that’s the case, without sacrificing comfort, what’s a way to cut costs? Try considering something other than a standard water heater when replacing an older unit, it could cost more initially, but be made up for in energy savings. Not only that, but there are rebates available for efficient water heating systems.


Heat Pump Water Heater

South River EMC members who install a residential heat pump water heater with a minimum energy factor of 2.0 are eligible to take advantage of the $200 South River EMC efficient water heating rebate.

Energy Star qualified heat pump water heaters are more efficient than standard electric storage water heaters because the electricity is used for moving heat from one place to another in lieu of generating the heat directly. For heat pump water heaters, the heat source is typically the outside air or air in the basement where units are typically located. A heat pump water heater uses anywhere from 33 to 50 percent of the electricity required by a conventional storage tank water heater and are available with built-in water tanks or as add-ons to existing water tanks. A standard water heater generally has an energy factor of .88 an energy efficient electric storage tank model is generally .90 while a heat pump water heater is at least 2.0

Replacing old electric water heating (EF.90 or below) with an Energy Star qualified heat pump water heater can cut annual energy bills by nearly $200. By installing an Energy Star high-efficiency heat pump water heater in a newly constructed home, contractors are providing the homeowner with a source of lower electric use.



  • You must receive electric service from South River EMC in the home where heat pump water heater is installed.
  • The unit must have been newly installed in the 90 days preceding the application for rebate.


System Requirements:

  • When replacing an existing unit, the old unit must not have an efficiency factor of greater than .90.
  • HPWHs less than 50 gallons are eligible for a rebate. HPWH is the standard for units over 50 gallons.
  • Member must submit proof of purchase (a copy of the sales receipt or invoice) and a copy of the yellow EnergyGuide along with application.
  • Installations must comply with all federal, state and local code requirements.
  • Qualified electric heat pump water heater must replace an existing electric water heater in the same home and the old water heater must be disconnected and removed from the home.



  • Rebates are subject to change without notice.
  • All rebates are subject to approval and are contingent upon fund availability.

Download an application here.


Solar Water Heater

Solar water heating systems are reliable, adaptable, and pollution-free because they use renewable energy from the sun. Many systems include sleek, attractive, low-relief collectors that people often mistake for skylights. A solar water heating system is a substantial but rewarding investment. It can reduce your monthly electric bill while helping to protect our environment. Being informed and planning carefully will ensure that you’ve chosen the right system. Because of federal and state incentives along with South River EMC's $150 rebate to members, installing a solar water heating system has never been a better deal.



  • You must receive electric service from South River EMC in your home.
  • The unit must have been newly installed after 1/01/09 to qualify for rebate.
  • Member is responsible for registering the solar water heating system with the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
  • System must be checked for compliance by an authorized South River EMC employee before a rebate is issued.
  • Member must sign an agreement, which allows the Cooperative the rights to any renewable energy certificates produced from the solar water heating unit in exchange for the rebate.


System Requirements:

  • All solar collectors must have OG-100 certification by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. (SRCC). All solar water heating systems must have SRCC OG-300 certification.
  • Eligible solar water heating systems must incorporate freeze and over heat protection strategies that require no regular manual operations on the part of the residence occupant.
  • Collectors must be oriented to face within 45 degrees of due south with a tilt angle between 15 and 40 degrees above the southern horizon.
  • Collectors oriented east, west or that are flat mounted, must be correctly sized using a corrective factor formula.
  • System must be installed by a contractor currently certified to install solar water heaters by the SRCC and has all required NC licenses and certifications.



  • Rebates are subject to change without notice.
  • All rebates are subject to approval and are contingent upon fund availability.


How to apply:

  • Decide which system works best for your home.
  • Contact a qualified installer.
  • Complete installation.

You can download an application here.  Call Robert Talton at 910-892-8071 x 2152 for questions or e-mail questions to


South River EMC does not make recommendations of contractors, however for informational purposes you can visit the Web site of the following companies in our area to learn more about solar water heating.

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