On Jan. 1, 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy launches a new ENERGY STAR® program for residential water heaters.
The program will cover gas-fired storage, gas-fired tankless, heat pump and solar water heaters. The ENERGY STAR program for gas-fired storage water heaters will take effect in two phases. For the first 19 months of the program, these water heaters must achieve an Energy Factor of .62 to qualify for the ENERGY STAR label, but on Sept. 1, 2010, the program criteria requirement changes to require an Energy Factor of 0.67 to qualify.
"While water heater manufacturers provide a full range of energy efficient products, ENERGY STAR labeling will make it much easier for consumers to identify higher efficiency products," said Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute President Stephen Yurek.
In order to carry the ENERGY STAR label, equipment manufacturers must have third-party verification of the product's energy factor rating. The large majority of water heater manufacturers do this already through AHRI. Certified equipment and efficiency ratings are listed in AHRI's certification directory at http://www.gamapower.org/water.php. From this directory, consumers and water heater installers can print certificates of certified product performance that can be used to obtain rebates from some utility companies and municipalities.