Energy Efficiency & Water Heaters

Various water heaters.

Living costs continue to rise while the average wage often doesn’t improve. This, and environmental concerns, are the main reasons why many people are looking to reduce their energy consumption.

You’ve probably looked at all the obvious energy saving solutions such as smart meters and turning things off. But, have you considered the effect your hot water heater is having on your energy bill?

Put simply the type and the age of your water heater can make a big difference to your energy bill.

Assessing Energy Efficiency

Your hot water heater will draw electricity or gas to heat the hot water. If you have a tankless system then this will fire up on demand to give you hot water. If your system has a tank then the water will be heated and stored; the water heater will click on and off as necessary to maintain the water temperature.

In general a tankless water heater will be more energy efficient and cost you less to run; providing your water usage is less than 41 gallons per day.

To ensure you choose the best and most energy efficient option for your home it is important to take several factors into consideration. This will ensure you get the best hot water systems for your home.


If you use a lot of water then the tank water heater is likely to be more energy efficient. But, you do need to ensure that the tank is well insulated. The better the insulation the cheaper it will be to keep the water at your desired temperature.

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If your usage is low then the on demand or tankless system is likely to be more energy efficient for you.

Before and after images of a hot water heater.


You should also consider the location of your water heater. The closer it is to the faucet the less water you’ll draw before you get hot water. Any water saved is water that doesn’t need to be heated.

This is why any newer houses are choosing to have small tankless water heaters fitted near each sink.

The Fuel

You can choose between electric water heaters, gas or even oil fired. Before you decide you’ll need to verify the current cost per unit for each of these fuels types and the amount of fuel you’re likely to use.

For example, gas might be cheaper than electricity per unit but if you have an electric tank style hot water system versus a gas heater with a constant pilot light you may find that the gas heater uses more units than the electric.

You’ll need to check the amount of energy your appliance uses to produce hot water and factor in water usage and the fuel cost to find out which is really more energy efficient.

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of purchasing and installing. Tankless systems tend to be more expensive to purchase and the installation could be more complicated if you are moving the location of the water heater or had a tank system before.

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The installation costs can offset the energy savings.

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