How New DOE Energy Mandates Affect Water Heaters

Are you in the market for a new water heater? The US Dept of Energy’s
new water heater regulations go into effect on April 16, 2015.

The new 2015 DOE energy efficiency mandates will require higher EF ratings
on virtually all water heaters, including residential gas, electric and
oil. These changes will impact how water heaters are designed, manufactured,
tested, distributed, and installed.

The DOE originally set standards for residential water heaters in 1990,
with an update in 2004. This change will set the standards for today’s
technology, and will save approximately 3.3 quads of energy and result
in approximately $63 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped
over the next 30 years. The standard will avoid about 172.5 million metric
tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse
gas emissions of about 33.8 million cars.

Product changes will vary depending on the class and volume size of the
water heater. In some cases changes may be minor; in other cases it may
be more profound. For example, in the electric water heater category,
a 55 gallons or greater water heater will now be prohibited from being
sold unless it uses an integrated heat pump configuration to meet the
new EF standards. In the gas category, new models will have additional
insulation, flue enhancements, electronic ignition, and condensing gas
technology, or a combinations of these in order to meet the requirements.

Changes are as follows:

  • Gas water heater 20-55 gallon current EF=0.67 new EF=0.675
  • Gas water heater 55-100 gallon current EF=n/a new EF=0.8012
  • Electric water heater 20-55 gallon current EF=0.97 new EF=0.97
  • Electric water heater 55-120 gallon current EF=n/a new EF=2.057
  • Oil water heater 50 gallon of less current EF=0.59 new EF=0.68

With all of these changes means that in some cases, a new water heater
may be larger, heavier, or of different proportions than the one its replacing.
It may require more room for installation, piping chances, additional
electric work, or condensation drains installed. Yet once installation
is complete, that’s where the savings begins.

If you’re in the market for a new water heater, give us a call and
let us help you make the right selection for your home environment.

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