DOE Finalizes Tighter Residential Water Heater Standard

Showers Will Still Be Hot, but Cost Less and Use Less Energy

WASHINGTON (April 1, 2010) -- In a positive step for consumers and the environment, the Energy Department issued final energy efficiency standards for residential water heaters today, improving on the initial proposal made last December.

This tighter standard will save electricity, create a bigger market for advanced water heater technology and save consumers money, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

NRDC and 10,000 of its activists urged DOE to adopt a tighter standard than one it proposed late last year and the Department listened.

According to DOE, the standard will save 2.8 quads of energy, enough to power 15 million American homes for a year and avoid the need for three new 250 megawatt power plants. In addition, the CO2 emissions savings would total 164 million tons. In addition, a half-ton of mercury will be kept out of the air from power plant emissions. The energy bill savings from the standard, which goes into effect in 2015, will be $10 billion over the next 30 years.

The following is a statement from Lane Burt, Manager of Building Energy Policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“We wanted the Energy Department to strengthen the proposed energy efficiency requirement for water heaters, and it did. These standards will not only boost the total national energy savings, but help create a bigger market for advanced water heater technologies that will eventually make every shower cheaper and more sustainable.

“This rule illustrates the Department’s and Secretary Chu's commitment to issuing and enforcing the dozens of standards that are overdue because of the inaction of previous administrations, while bringing the savings from energy efficiency to every American who takes a hot shower or uses any other appliance.”

Read more about the announcement in Lane’s blog: DOE On Target With New Water Heater Standard