Upper Murray Hot Water Project

Hot water plays a huge role in our energy transition to becoming 100% renewable. Old electric resistive hot water units are a huge drain on our electricity network overnight and as we forge to more renewables entering the grid, these old systems can cause other issues. So how can we address this? By upgrading to more efficient means of heating hot water – enter the Reclaim Heat Pump.

After the fires of 2019/2020 the Upper Murray was left without power for several weeks, and as we know several families lost their homes. Generators were shipped in as fast as possible to get the communities up and running to some capacity while repairs to the network occurred. However, when they hooked the generators up the first night, they tripped when everyone’s electric hot waters came on, they very quickly realised the draw that they have.

Indigo Power applied for funding offered under bushfire recovery. This project saw them able to make great reduction in costs for upgrading peoples old hot water systems with the Reclaim Heat Pump.

One of the realisations of this project was around the long-term damage that poor quality products can have on a whole industry. Back in the ‘00’s there were heat pumps (old technology) being offered for free into households, businesses, sporting clubs and communities across Australia under various government rebate programs. Many of these systems were not suitable to the climates we experience here in North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales. The failure rates were high, the noise was causing sleepless nights as they were installed in inappropriate positions, they were installed in applications where they were not suitable ie dairies and sporting clubs. Very quickly people were complaining and many pulling them out at great cost and the cost of a replacement system. As a result of this it took a lot of extra engagement with the community to win back the confidence and trust in the new technology heat pumps. Now the community has experience with not only the advances of technology but dealing with companies that have customer experience and environment as their highest values.

A project like this has many benefits:

  • Customer savings, having a system that can save up to 75% of their water heating costs.
  • Network, reduces the draw on the electricity network overnight, easing the transition to renewables
  • Environmental, less power to power a heat pump means lower demand, means less coal required to burn while we await our renewable transition.

This project saw us deliver and install over 80 systems into the Upper Murray.