Costly Water Heater Regulation

Costly Water Heater Regulation

The U.S. Department of Energy will soon begin enforcing new energy efficiency standards for hot water heaters in residential buildings.  The updates to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) that came into affect April 2015 require hot water heaters that are larger, more costly and more environmentally conscious than what is required under current regulations. This could be a   costly water heater regulation to comply with.

Aimed at increasing Energy Factor (EF) ratings, a measurement unit used to gauge the total amount of energy that is used by an appliance, these regulations will impose new environmentally friendly standards. With these changes, homeowners will need to foot the bill for the expected increase in cost.

May home owners and buyers may not be aware of these requirements for replacing water heaters when they go to buy a home or sell a home.

 

A standard 50-gallon gas water heater from one manufacturer will increase in diameter as much as two inches. If your water heater is in a narrow closet or other space with no room to spare, this could make a big difference

IF your heater is in a tight corner, or in a closet the e=increase in size could mean a costly relocation of the water heater and other unexpected costs.

If you are selling a home this could mean you could get a request for repairs to bring the existing heater up to the new standards.   Also home warranty companies may not cover the cost of renovating the area where the water heater is located to accommodate the new size of tanks.

If you are a buyer you may want to make sure that your Home Warranty will cover the cost of relocating a water heater or retrofitting the space where it is located if it needs to be replaced and make sure that the home inspection identifies if the water heater is compliant or if it may need replacing.   Typical Life span for a Water heater is 8-10 years.

What are the new regulations?

Table 2. Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Water Heaters

Product class

Storage Volume

Energy Factor as of January 20, 2004

Energy Factor as of April 16, 2015

Gas-fired Storage Water Heater

 20 gallons and  100 gallons

0.67-(0.0019 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons)

For tanks with a Rated Storage Volume at or below 55 gallons: EF = 0.675-(0.0015 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

For tanks with a Rated Storage Volume above 55 gallons:
EF = 0.8012-(0.00078 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

Oil-fired Storage Water Heater

 50 gallons

0.59-(0.0019 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons)

EF = 0.68-(0.0019 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

Electric Storage Water Heater

 20 gallons and  120 gallons

0.97-(0.00132 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons)

For tanks with a Rated Storage Volume at or below 55 gallons: EF = 0.960-(0.0003 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

For tanks with a Rated Storage Volume above 55 gallons:
EF = 2.057-(0.00113 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

Tabletop Water Heater

 20 gallons and  120 gallons

0.93-(0.00132 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons)

EF = 0.93-(0.00132 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

Instantaneous Gas-fired Water Heater

< 2 gallons

0.62-(0.0019 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons)

EF = 0.82-(0.0019 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

Instantaneous Electric Water Heater

< 2 gallons

0.93-(0.00132 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons)

EF = 0.93-(0.00132 × Rated Storage Volume in gallons).

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