This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 09, 2008

DOE Announces New Energy Star Criteria for Water Heaters

Photo of a man crouching on a flat section of roof beside a pitched and shingled section of roof holding two dark, rectangular solar thermal collectors. Eight rows of thermal receiver tubes are barely visible through each of the translucent covers of the collector boxes.

The new Energy Star requirements will apply to a wide range of water heaters, including solar hot water heaters. The solar collectors shown here are being tested at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Warren Gretz, NREL

DOE established new Energy Star criteria for water heaters on April 1, setting the wheels in motion for the first water heaters to carry the Energy Star label next year. The new criteria apply to solar water heaters, advanced drop-in integrated heat pump water heaters, and three gas-fired designs: high-performance storage tank, condensing, and whole-home tankless water heaters. The criteria will be implemented across two years, with the first phase being initiated on January 1, 2009. The second phase, introducing stronger standards, will take effect on September 1, 2010. According to DOE projections, these new water heater criteria could, after five years of being implemented, save about $780 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. For more information about the specific requirements for each type of water heater, see the DOE press release.