Water heaters are often the second largest energy user in the home, costing residents hundreds of dollars each year. Beginning in April 2015, the updated “NAECA” standards from the U.S. Department of Energy increased water heater efficiency requirements, driving major product changes in the U.S. market. “NAECA” stands for the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act and includes the federal regulations for water heater minimum efficiency levels.

Against this backdrop of new standards, products, and decision-making factors, this course will review a detailed analysis of water heating systems. This analysis compares water heating technologies based on their energy, economic, and environmental performance, with a focus on the performance of propane-based systems relative to electric and heating oil alternatives. The course also reviews the new federal standards for water heaters, and describes the market implications for both new construction and replacements.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the updated federal standards for residential water heaters.
  • Describe how water heater options compare based on annual energy costs.
  • Describe how water heater options compare by Annual Cost of Ownership and CO2 emissions.
  • Understand the implications of the new standards on water heater selection.