Energy Star Residential Water Heaters Available January 1, 2009
December 31, 2008
DOE announced on December 31 the upcoming release of Energy Star-qualified residential water heaters. Five types of residential water heaters will be released under the Energy Star label: high-efficiency gas storage water heaters; gas condensing water heaters; whole-home gas tankless water heaters; heat pump water heaters; and solar water heaters. Water heating is the second largest energy expense in residential homes, after heating and cooling, and represents up to 15.5% of all national residential energy consumption. These Energy Star-qualified water heaters can reduce residential water heating bills from 7.5% to up to 55%. Over the next five years, the new water heater criteria are expected to save American consumers $823 million in utility costs, avoid 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and achieve cumulative energy savings of more than 3.9 billion kilowatt hours and 270 million therms of natural gas—enough energy to power more than 375,000 homes for a year.
Energy Star is a joint program of DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. More than 9,000 organizations have joined Energy Star as partners, and the Energy Star label appears on more than 50 kinds of consumer products. The new criteria for water heaters was released on April 1, 2008, to allow manufacturers nine months to partner with Energy Star and submit qualifying models for the Energy Star label. Energy Star-qualified gas storage, whole home gas tankless, and solar water heaters will be available immediately on January 1, 2009, and gas condensing and heat pump models will be available later in the year. See the DOE press release and the Energy Star Web site.