…but only when it’s time to replace your current water heater.
Apparently, the federal government has done it again…first with new Freon…then with new light bulbs…now…
Effective April 16, 2015, new/higher water heater energy factor (EF) rating requirements will be mandatory in all US households as the result of revisions to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These new requirements call apply to almost all residential (and light-duty commercial) gas, electric, and oil water heaters. Your existing water heater, when it fails or needs replacement, must be replaced with an approved model that is larger and more costly but supposedly more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Update: 4-13-2015: As of 4-16-2015, manufacturers are supposed to stop producing existing water heater models and start producing the newer more energy efficient models. And if it’s like any manufacturer, they probably stopped producing them a while back like they did with lead based paint, freon, etc., whenever Federal Regulations were proposed with penalties. So if you can order an existing one and it’s available before 4-16-2015, you can have it installed. If you buy it for future installation to save money, just remember your water heater warranty begins on your purchase date, not installation date.
But when it comes time to replace your current water heater, it could cost $1,000-2,000 for not only the water heater itself, but if it won’t fit (water heaters could be at least 2″ wider due to the required extra insulation) in the already tight spot (closet or near wall), it will need to be relocated to another part of the home, or it may require modification or additional ventilation, watch out for the costs. Prices have not come out yet for the new regulation models, but estimates predict about 25-30% higher than they are now.
Average life span of a water heater is about seven years. So if your water heater is over 5 years old, properly budget for replacement.
Oh, and to make you feel better as you’re shelling out the additional money, the US Government says we will save approximately approximately $63 billion…of course, that was prior to the recent drop in oil prices. And we are assuming Government estimates are accurate. How often does that happen?