East West Manufacturing Blog

New Water Heater Regulations Save $2 Billion

Written by Andy Reese | July 21, 2015
On April 16th, 2015, the new water heater energy factor requirement took effect – thanks to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA).

The NAECA update increased minimum energy efficiency standards and was enacted in 2010.  The increase in energy efficiency is a good thing as we look to reduce our carbon footprint, save money on utility bills, and minimize our impact on the environment.

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So how much energy savings are we talking about?  The new water heater regulations will result in over $2 Billion dollars in energy savings for the next 29 years!  This standard will eliminate as much carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas emissions) as nearly 34 Million cars per year.

This just from the impact of creating more efficient residential water heaters!

So, how did the water heater manufacturers achieve these new standards?  Really three ways (yes there are more and most, I’m sure, are trade secrets to the largest three in the United States, A.O. Smith, Bradford White, and Rheem:        

  1. Some will require heat pump water heating technology
  2. Some will require high-efficiency condensate (moisture) removal systems
  3. The biggest difference to the homeowner is simply a little larger hot water heater.  The new standards create a larger footprint to accommodate more insulation. 

The typical 40 gallon and larger hot water heater will be 1-2” wider and 1-2” taller.  You can expect the same impact for a gas or electric hot water heater.

So what’s the impact to you?  Water heater manufacturers have spent a tremendous amount of engineering time and resources to bring us the most efficient products on the market, at the best possible price for the consumer.  Your next hot water heater will be a little bigger and a little taller – so unless you have a very tight space it shouldn’t impact you very much.

The great news is that we’ll save money on power or gas bills – because we all like our hot water!