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New Federal Regulations For Water Heaters

- 11:33 am - August 22nd, 2015


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This just in on water heaters. The Department of Energy, as part of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, recently updated the energy efficiency rating requirements for residential water heaters. 

What's that mean to all of us? These revised federal regulations will require all new water heaters - those with and without tanks - to meet the updated energy efficiency mandates. 

The new standards will impact virtually all residential gas, electric and oil water heaters under 55 gallons of capacity, requiring them to carry higher energy factor (EF) ratings. 

“These changes will have an impact on how water heaters are designed, manufactured, tested, distributed and installed, affecting manufacturers, wholesalers, installers and customers alike,” the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association wrote on their website. 

John Phillips, President of Phillips Energy, told the Gloucester Mathews Gazette Journal retailers can continue selling old, less energy-efficient models of the traditional water heaters, however Phillips Energy will no longer procure them from dealers. After the older models are gone, customers should purchase one of the energy-efficient models or consider a tankless water heater which heats water on demand.

Phillips explained that although more expensive, the newer models have energy savings and performance advantages. Phillips wants his customers to consider the long-term costs of an energy-efficient model. 

“While you may pay a bit more up front, you’ll pay less in the long run in terms of energy savings,” he said.

Along with the new regulations has come difficulty for some residents. The new water heaters may not fit in the same capacity as the existing unit. 

Jonathan Miller, HVAC Manager for Phillips Energy, said that for water heaters under 55 gallons, the height of the new unit with the same gallon capacity as an existing unit may be two or more inches taller; the diameter of a new unit has the same gallon capacity as an existing unit may be two inches or more greater, and a minimum of three or more inches when planning the space.

Additionally, the new units may be require more insulation, which also takes up more space. 

Phillips Energy's team is prepared to handle minor retrofits and a subcontractor can be brought in to handle the larger, custom fittings.

Rebates may be available for some of the new water heaters. Rebates on tankless hot water heaters are also frequently made available to customers. 

For questions regarding the new regulations, help finding a rebate or to purchase an energy-efficient tankless hot water heater, call 804.642.2166.

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