Energy Efficiency Standards tightened on Hot Water Heaters
DOE announced last Thursday implementation of stricter requirements for new home hot water heaters by 2015 with the aim of decreasing CO2 emissions by 164 million metric tons. Admittedly, the new efficiency standards may increase the price of new water heaters up to $120 per unit, but DOE says such modifications may save up to $143 in the lifetime operating cost of the unit. DOE spokeswoman Jen Stutsman mentioned that this regulation only applies to future water heaters and stated for current homeowners: "You don't have to go out and replace your water heater. "
DOE guidelines will use an "energy factor" system to determine hot water heater efficiency to provide benchmarks for manufacturers. These standards include recovery efficiency, a measurement of energy required to transfer heat from the source to the stored water, cycling losses that happen as water moves through pipes, and standby losses created when heat escapes from stored water tanks.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, which has expressed disappointment over previous DOE standards, issued a statement commending the new energy efficiency requirement. DOE Secretary Steven Chu said raising energy efficiency standards for everyday appliances '...will enhance our energy security for decades to come.”