Residential Market Trends
Among residential ATW heat pumps, Eco Cute* units using CO2 refrigerant play a central role in Japan.
*The nickname Eco Cute is used by power companies and water heater manufacturers to refer to ATW heat pumps that use natural CO2 refrigerant.
Starting in 2012, although shipments of Eco Cute units continued to register negative growth compared with the previous year, the negative growth margin continued to decrease. In 2015, however, shipments recorded a 6.7% drop, thus triggering a negative trend again, although the rate of the drop was very low. However, shipments did not decrease to such an extent that they could affect the market, when looked at in terms of a span of several years. Since the occurrence of the great earthquake in 2011, shipments of Eco Cute units as residential water heaters have continued to decrease. From around October 2015, however, they at last began showing signs of an upturn. They continued to register positive growth from February to June 2016, up 0.9%, 1.9%, 13.5%, 11.8%, and 8.4%, respectively. Also, at the end of March 2016, the cumulative total shipments of Eco Cute units topped 5 million units. Since the aim is to distribute 14 million units by 2030 according to the Long-term Energy Demand and Supply Outlook pre-pared in July 2015, demand for Eco Cute units is expected to continue to expand.