WASHINGTON - The Energy Star® program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has made Energy Star residential water heaters available. With this new offering, the Energy Star program now addresses every major residential appliance found in most American homes. According to the program, introduction of this product provides significant potential savings to consumers. It also stated that water heating represents up to 15.5 percent of national residential energy consumption, the second largest end use of energy in homes, following heating and cooling.

Using one of five specified water heating technologies, Energy Star qualified water heaters can reduce water heating bills from 7.5 percent to as much as 55 percent, said the DOE.

“Expansion of the Energy Star program to include water heaters will give Americans yet another way to use energy more efficiently in their homes and help the country increase energy security and address climate change,” said David Rodgers, DOE deputy assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

In five years, the new water heater criteria are expected to save American consumers $823 million in utility costs, avoid 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and achieve cumulative energy savings of more than 3.9 billion kilowatt-hours and 270 million therms of natural gas - enough energy to power more than 375,000 homes for a year.

Five water heating technologies are eligible to use the Energy Star label: high-efficiency gas storage water heaters, gas condensing water heaters, whole-home gas tankless water heaters, heat pump water heater technology, and solar water heaters.

Energy Star qualified gas storage, whole-home gas tankless, and solar water heaters are currently available. Qualified gas condensing and heat pump models are expected to be available later in 2009.

For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/waterheaters.

Publication date:01/26/2009