Begining April 15, 2015 a new national water heater standard will take effect. What does that mean to the average home owner? The manufacturers aren’t saying quite yet, but if the past is any indication, it means additional costs to the end user. It has to do with the EF (Energy Factor) of the water heater. Most of the heaters we work on in southern California are 40 to 50 gallon gas water heaters The EF rating of the average 40 gal gas water heater is currently.59, and that will go to .62. For a 50 gal gas water heater, the rise is from .58 to .60. To accomplish these required Energy Factor increases, the manufacturers are looking at different ideas. One is to increase the insulation of the tank – but that may increase the finished tank diameter requiring a larger space. Other ideas we already see is to add a flue damper which prevents heat loss, but this will require electricity. Also under consideration is to add condensing technology which is currently used in tankless water heaters, as well as heat pump technology which came out in 2009 and has been updated since then. If you are the owner of a 60 gallon plus gas or electric heater, these units will be more affected by the new standard. All electric water heaters under 55 gallons must have an EF of .95. All tankless water heaters must achieve an EF of .82, up from .62. The new standard is called the 2015 NAECA Standards.