There are various options when it comes to purchasing water heaters, but a high-efficiency model may provide significant energy savings and could even qualify you for rebates or offers from power companies.

Understanding an appliance’s annual operating cost is the cornerstone of selecting a model, and one way of getting an idea is by looking for any appliances with yellow and black EnergyGuide labels on their packaging.


Size matters when it comes to energy efficiency and lifespan of water heaters, so be sure to choose an appropriately sized model for your household in order to prevent unexpected water shortages. Visit one of the pages linked above for more information about selecting and sizing a model water heater.

Your water heater’s fuel type can have an impactful effect on its annual operating costs, size and energy efficiency. Natural gas models tend to be more cost effective when using natural gas; however, in areas with high natural gas prices an electric option might prove more cost-effective.

Most homes already have electrical access running to their water heater area, making electric models simpler to install. Furthermore, electric models offer more size options than their counterparts as point-of-use units that deliver hot water in remote parts of your home.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is an integral component of reducing costs, decreasing fossil fuel usage and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. A more energy-efficient water heater may even pay for itself within several years!

Before making your choice, it is crucial that you carefully evaluate both purchase and operating costs of each model. Although it might be tempting to opt for an inexpensive model with low initial costs but disregard ongoing operational expenses altogether, this approach could end up costing more in the long run.

An electric storage water heater may be less costly to buy initially but more costly in its operational costs over time. By contrast, heat pumps or solar water heaters may cost more upfront but operate significantly cheaper; some integrated space/water heating systems also boast increased energy efficiency; before making your choice be sure that you ask your contractor about these options and check out ACEEE Marketplace and ENERGY STAR listings of qualifying models for additional details.

Fuel Source

If you’re replacing an existing water heater, fuel source will play a significant role. Gas water heaters generally use natural or propane to heat the water while electric ones may use fossil fuels, solar energy or even electricity generated through the grid to power their heating units.

Energy efficiency should always be top of mind when selecting your fuel source, such as electric water heaters that use solar or wind turbine generated electricity as opposed to those using fossil fuels as the source.

If your home already features solar panels, purchasing an ENERGY STAR (r) certified water heater would be beneficial in taking full advantage of your solar energy production without drawing energy from the grid. Other options could be to opt for gas water heating units that use waste gas to heat water instead, or hybrid electric/gas units from.

If you need more information, read this water heater article from Cinch Home Services. It will help you make a good choice.