WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has finalized new, higher energy efficiency standards for residential water heaters, pool heaters, and direct heating equipment such as gas fireplaces. DOE said the new standards for these heating appliances will together save consumers up to $10 billion and prevent up to 164 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years.

According to DOE, the new standards increase the stringency of the existing minimum standards for these three types of residential heating products, which account for about 18 percent of energy use in homes across the country. DOE said the standards will significantly reduce energy consumption of these products, including decreasing energy use in large electric storage water heaters by 47 percent and by more than 30 percent in large gas water heaters.

The standards for water heaters will go into effect in 2015, while the standards for pool heaters and direct heating equipment - including gas-fired wall, floor and hearth heaters - will apply to products manufactured in 2013 and beyond.

To read the complete final rule, go to www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/pdfs/htgproducts_finalrule_notice.pdf.

Publication date: 04/05/2010