Energy Star Criteria Change for Water Heaters

The first planned increase in Energy Star water heater criteria went into effect on Sept. 1, 2010, increasing the minimum Energy Factor (EF) for gas storage water heaters from 0.62 to 0.67. The criteria for all other Energy Star water heaters remain unchanged.
Research shows that consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of high-efficiency appliances and the Energy Star label. Today, 77% of households recognized the Energy Star label, up from 41% 10 years ago, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s 2009 Energy Star Awareness Survey.
In order to meet the increased criteria, manufacturers have to utilize higher efficiency technologies. To achieve an EF of 0.67, many high-efficiency gas storage water heaters must use electricity, which means there will need to be an outlet handy. Some models can use existing atmospheric venting systems, which typically require no extra installation costs unless electricity is needed and no outlet is nearby. Other models can be power vented.
A significant benefit of higher minimum EF is that it allows Energy Star gas storage water heaters to help our customers save more — in some cases, almost twice as much — than they would have with a 0.62 EF model. The existing 0.62 models help homeowners save 7.3% more energy annually than a conventional gas model. Water heaters with a 0.67 EF offer even greater savings, providing up to 14% higher savings than a standard unit. This results in up to $51.00 in annual savings. Visit www.eswaterheaters.org for more information about local utility rebates or incentives.