WASHINGTON — Envirotech Systems Worldwide Inc., a provider of water heating systems for residential and commercial use, announced that the company plans to file comments with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding amending the proposed rules for adding water heaters to the federal government’s Energy Star program. The proposed changes could save $25 billion a year on energy used for water heating, says the company.

While waters heaters are one of the largest consumers of energy in the American household, the DOE, to date, has not drafted a formal program that awards Energy Star ratings for water heating devices that save energy, the company says. The proposed water heater guidelines are available at: www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_specs.water_heaters.

“The problem for the DOE, which is tasked with setting the federal guidelines for the Energy Star Water Heater program, is evaluating the difference on how new technologies have significantly improved the methods of heating water,” said Gary Gordon, Envirotech’s CEO. “The good news is that they are seeking guidance on the Water Heater Energy Star program now and plan to have something finalized by the first quarter of 2004. Unfortunately, the guidelines as written, will allow some of the least energy efficient products to make the Energy Star program. That defeats the purpose of the Energy Star program in the first place.”

The comments that Envirotech plans to file propose changes to the Department of Energy’s 10 CRF Part 430 Energy Conservation for Consumer Products: Test Procedure for Water Heaters; Final Rule, passed in May 1998. Envirotech would like to see the maximum proposed input power rating increased from 12 kW to 29 kW. This would allow a new category of highly energy efficient instantaneous water heaters to be included in the Energy Star program, says the company.

The existing guidelines are based on conventional storage tank hot water systems, which have low amp draw rates, but require a continuous power draw to heat water stored in a tank. New “tankless” water heater technologies require higher amp draw rates, but only heat water for very short periods of time, the company says. By not using energy unless hot water is actually requested, a tankless water heater allows a household to reduce its hot water heating energy consumption by as much as 50 percent, proclaims the company.

Publication date: 05/05/2003