I’ll bet you’ve never heard of the NAECA, right?
NAECA is the acronym for the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, which includes requirements for higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings on all residential gas, electric, oil, and tankless gas water heaters.
These new EF requirements will become effective April 16, 2015.
The bottom line?
New water heaters are going to cost more after April 16th ~ a lot more, in some instances.
To achieve higher EF ratings, new water heaters will be larger to accommodate additional insulation and other components.
That means some new water heaters will not fit into existing water heater spaces, requiring costly relocation and additional plumbing.
The new EF standards should decrease operating costs, but will likely increase maintenance costs for some new models due to their more complex design and integration of electronics, blowers, fans, condensers, etc.
Additional complexities of the new water heaters will also make it more difficult for do-it-yourself installations and require the services of licensed plumbing contractors.
We can also expect plumbing contractors to charge more to install these new water heaters because they will be larger and heavier, often requiring a two-person crew for installation.
Finally, new home builders will be including the additional cost of these new water heaters in their prices.
If you want to replace your current water heater before the April 16th deadline, you should check with local suppliers now because some current design waters are already in short supply.
For more information, check out this Bradford-White webinar.