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Let's Save Where We Can

In various industries, energy conservation has become a very important topic. As natural resources become scarce, companies have made their products more efficient to benefit consumers. This has been the case with water heaters, which account for up to 20 percent of a Tucson home’s heating expenses per month.


As a result, the United States Department of Energy recently implemented energy mandates known as Final Rule energy efficiency standards. These standards, commonly referred to as Energy Factor ratings, are important in that they measure how much energy water heaters use is converted to hot water. Several new regulations have gone into effect, and each has some very important implications.

Electric Water Heaters

While the majority of homes in the United States have electric water heaters, the EF requirements have been increased substantially in order to allow Tucson consumers to save as much money as possible on their monthly utility bills. For example, a 50 gallon tank that has a current EF standard of .90 will now have to increase that to .95, meaning 95 percent of the energy used by the heater must be converted to hot water. Also, larger electric water heaters, such as those with an 80 gallon capacity, will have their EF increase from .86 to 1.97.

Gas Water Heaters

Becoming more popular with consumers, gas water heaters will also be affected by the government’s increased EF standards. One of the biggest changes will take place with tank-free heaters, which will see their EF guidelines go from .62 to .82 in order to become much more efficient. However, in the process of doing so, their prices are also expected to increase by up to 30 percent, which may price many consumers out of purchasing them. However, with 41 percent of homes currently owning gas water heaters, the price impact is not expected to have dire consequences for consumers or manufacturers.

Installation Guidelines

Due to the higher EF ratings, many water heaters are having to be made slightly larger than before. Therefore, it may become harder to find models that will fit into existing spaces, creating unexpected expenses for consumers. If the heater needs to be relocated to another spot in the home, installation costs can be quite high. However, if the installation will be dependent upon a new space being built, the installation costs can quickly skyrocket. In these cases, contacting a plumber for assistance is a smart decision.

Any hold ups regarding your Tucson, AZ water heater? Call Spartan Plumbing at 520-617-1000 today for any of your repair or maintenance requests.