There's good news on the horizon for homeowners and the environment. The Department of Energy has created a new standard for energy usage on water heaters. Water efficiency changes will take place April 16, 2015, and homeowners need to know how the new rule will affect existing equipment and future purchases.
This isn't the first change the DOE has implemented. Back in 1990, the mandatory standard helped save 3.2 quads of energy. Another change in 2004 saved 6 quads of energy. Today's standard is set to generate more savings, leading to a 3.3 quads of energy savings from water heaters purchased from 2015 to 2044. It's also estimated to help homeowners and building owners save about $63 billion in energy bills, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 172.5 million metric tons - an amount equal to the greenhouse gas emissions released by almost 40 million cars.
What Does it Mean for You?
Water heater manufacturers and designers have been hard at work to generate heating systems to comply with the new standards. When the new standard goes into effect in April, you'll notice the new systems stocked in the warehouses of contractors and home improvement stores. But it doesn't mean you have to upgrade your existing system to comply.
The new standard applies only to newly purchased systems, so manufacturers can still sell already manufactured systems that don't meet the new guidelines, but only until they run out. If you're in the market for a water heater upgrade, it's to your benefit to check out the systems that do comply with regulations.
Water Efficiency Changes Mean Savings
The number one benefit homeowners get from seeking out a water heater that adheres to the new standard is savings. The more efficient the water heater you buy, the more savings you'll get on the back end.
There are varying standards depending on the type of water heater you purchase.
- Gas-fired water heaters must meet an Energy Factor (EF) of 0.675 for systems under 55 gallons, while systems over 55 gallons must meet 0.8012 EF.
- Oil-fired water heaters over 50 gallons must meet an EF of 0.68.
- Electric water heaters under 55 gallons must achieve 0.960 EF, while systems between 55 and 120 gallons must meet 2.057 EF.
- Tankless water heaters must meet 0.82 (gas fired) or 0.93 (electric).
Don't put your investment in a new water heater at risk. Get expert advice navigating water efficiency changes or water heater features. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.