The future of water heating

| by Joe Holliday
The future of water heating

New Efficiency Standards Bring Change

Going back as far as 1990, manufacturers of residential water heaters have complied with the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy conservation standards. Updates to the standards occurred in 2004 and most recently in April 2010. The April 2010 standards, which include gas- or oil-fueled and electric traditional storage tanks and gas-fueled tankless water heaters, will take effect in April 2015.

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the 2015 standards will save approximately $63 billion in energy costs for products shipped from 2015-2044. The new efficiency standard will assist in avoiding nearly 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions—the equivalent to 33.8 million automobiles off the road. For reference, the 2004 standards will save $70.6 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped between 2004 and 2033, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 62 million automobiles.

So what does this mean for manufacturers? As of April 15, 2015, manufacturers are prohibited from producing water heaters that don’t meet or exceed the new energy standards. Specific to gas-fueled tankless water heaters, the efficiency standard will jump from an Energy Factor (EF) of .62 to .82. EF is the ratio of useful energy output from the water heater to the total amount of energy input to the water heater.

For homeowners, the latest energy standards will help to ensure lower energy bills and reduce energy national consumption—an initiative all homeowners can rally behind. It also ensures manufacturers continue to engineer efficient water-heating technologies, as a new set of residential standards is sure to come at some point and no manufacturer wants to be left behind.

Learn more about the 2015 energy conservation standards by visiting the EERE website. 

Topics: Energy Star, Water Heaters

Companies: U.S. Department of Energy, Rinnai

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