For those of us working toward smarter, cleaner, cheaper water heating for households, there’s a lot happening in Washington, D.C. With about 15 percent of U.S. household energy use going to heat the water we use to wash dishes and take showers, even small improvements make a big difference.
First, new energy efficiency standards for water heaters issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) take effect Thursday (April 16). These standards were finalized in April 2010, giving the water heater industry time to plan and make necessary investments to manufacture the more efficient versions as of April 16. DOE estimates that these new standards will net consumers savings of up to $8.4 billion over the next 30 years. Total energy savings through 2045 are an estimated 2.6 quads, about as much energy as used by 15 million households annually. NRDC is a longstanding and strong supporter of federal energy efficiency standards, and had pushed for these standards to be adopted. It’s good to see them go into effect.