How Much More Will Your Next Water Heater Cost?

Feb 04 2016

Did you know that on average, nationally, water heaters address 12 to 18 percent of a household’s utility bill? With the new water heater regulations officially established, customers are wondering how that will further affect them; or more so, their pockets.

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So, what sort of changes in water heaters should you expect?

Water heater manufacturers are producing energy-saving additions like advanced electronics, more insulation and heat pumps–meaning new units will be taller and wider, not to mention more complicated, than their less efficient ancestors. According to manufacturers’ specifications and projections from industry professionals, qualifying replacements for units that are smaller than 55 gallons will grow 2 to 8 inches in height and 2 to 6 inches in width. The biggest changes will affect electrical units with 55 gallons or more because the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) rules require models of those sizes to now have a built in heat pump. As mentioned above, tanks will be taller and wider, so if you have a tight closet or small door you may have to relocate your water heater–or take off door jambs to bring it in. And, unfortunately, installers would have to charge for that if they did it.

What sort of changes in your budget should you expect?

Manufacturers will be increasing their prices as well because they will have to re-tool production lines, and this is expensive. It seems that manufacturers have forecast wholesale prices raising as much as 30 percent per unit to cover different materials and additional components needed. Even though it is saving energy in the long run, federal estimates project $63 billion in energy bill savings on units shipped between 2015 and 2044–homeowners will be paying an upfront premium for newer models. In some cases, new water heaters will cost nearly twice as much as it would cost to replace units currently owned.

However, some relief is available.

The federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is worth 30 percent of the cost, including labor and installation costs, of a solar water heater. Furthermore, the Metropolitan Utilities District may offer a rebate to customers who are converting from electric, propane, or oil water heaters to natural gas units.

Need a new water heater or have more questions? Contact Superior Water & Air today!