ARENA commissioned the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) to conduct research into the role of domestic hot water in flexible demand. The report shows how electric water heating systems can help Australia meet decarbonisation targets and support the transition to renewable energy, while providing cost savings to customers. The report will be used as a reference point for future flexible demand projects.
Domestic hot water use is responsible for around a fifth of Australian residential greenhouse gas emissions and a quarter of household energy use. The Australian Government has committed to a 43% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
Deploying electric water heating technologies is a key instrument for achieving these targets through enabling fuel switching, increasing efficiency, and supporting more renewables in the grid. However, the technologies best suited for this—heat pumps and electric storage—offer differing benefits in terms of efficiency, emissions reductions, upfront and running costs, flexibility, and ease of retrofit.