Water heaters are the second-largest energy user in the home, costing residents hundreds of dollars each year. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy updated the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) standards, which increased water heater efficiency requirements and drove major product changes in the U.S. market. NAECA standards include federal regulations for water heater minimum efficiency levels. Against this backdrop of updated 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 federal standards for water heaters and describes the market implications for both new construction and replacements.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine how residential water heaters are used in a home, the energy sources that power them, and key determinants of energy consumption in homes.
  • Explore the federal standards for residential water heaters, including how they may reduce energy use and costs.
  • Describe how water heater options compare based on annual energy costs, annual cost of ownership, and CO2 emissions.
  • Understand how new proposed standards for both residential and commercial water heaters can help the U.S. meet climate goals.

Pre-Requisite: Basic knowledge of the residential water heaters.