The U.S. Department of Energy recently mandated new water heater regulations. New energy efficient standards will go into effect beginning April 16, 2015 and call for much higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings for all water heaters 55 gallons or larger.

While 55 gallons may sound like a lot of water, the average family of four needs an 80 gallon capacity water heater to meet their needs.

Energy.gov explains, “A small (50- to 60-gallon) storage tank is usually sufficient for one to two people. A medium (80-gallon) storage tank works well for three to four people. A large tank is appropriate for four to six people.”

Joe Bilotta, our very own resident expert here at Blind & Sons explains, “New water heater regulations will add up to energy savings in the long term. However, they will significantly impact your initial costs when you are ready to replace your water heater.”

New standards will impact the cost of a new water heater in a couple of ways.

First, the cost of an average minimum-efficiency 60 gallon gas or electric water heater is currently $700-$1500 a unit. The new units manufactured after April 16 will cost anywhere from $1200-$2450 each.

Second to rising prices, Bilotta says the new units will also be larger and more difficult to install than previous models have been.

“We encourage anyone who is considering replacing or purchasing a new water heater in the next year or two to reach out to a professional plumber before changes go into effect this April. New units will be larger than before. Some home or business owners may be forced to move their system or perform a small remodel to accommodate a larger water heater.”

If you’re not certain whether new regulations will affect you, we recommend reaching out to your local plumber now. For more information, please give us a call.