What is NAECA and how will it affect me and my water heater?

DRF explores how NAECA regulations affect consumers who already own or will need to purchase a water heater in the future.

NAECA stands for National Appliance Energy Conservation Act – the U.S. Government Act that regulates energy consumption of certain household appliances (including water heaters) by creating uniform efficiency standards. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulates NAECA energy efficiency requirements.

Under NAECA, new energy efficiency mandates will become effective on April 16, 2015. Water heaters manufactured on or after this date will have to meet the new energy efficiency standards. Water heaters manufactured before this date that do not meet the new 2015 standards can still be purchased and installed after April 16, 2015. This does NOT mean you need to go out and buy a new water heater by April. If your water heater is running properly and is in good condition, you have nothing to worry about for now.

The expected lifespan of a water heater is about 6-10 years. If your water heater is around this age or is in poor condition, you may be affected by the new standards when you buy a new water heater.

The new water heaters will be taller and wider than older models. This means you may have to create more space or even move the location of your water heater if your current water heater is in a tight space. If this is the case, another option is to go with a tankless solution. A tankless water heater provides endless hot water, lasts 20 – 30 years and there is no tank to leak.

Another inevitable effect of these regulations is that these new water heaters will be more expensive. Manufacturers have not yet announced pricing for water heaters meeting the new standards, but a substantial price increase is likely. The increase in prices will affect all water heater retailers, plumbers and service providers.

A positive side of the new NAECA standards is that the higher-efficiency products will offer you long-term value through increased energy savings. If your water heater is due for replacement, this would also be a good time to consider the energy efficiency and lifestyle benefits of tankless water heaters.

DRF Water Heating Solutions recommends that you proactively shop for a new water heater now to consider all the options available to you. Call one of our Water Solutions Advisors with any questions you may have about the April 16th 2015 NAECA standards change. DRF Water Heating Solutions is honored to serve you and your hot water needs.