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Manufacturers become part of water heater coalition

BOSTON – Four water heater manufacturers, Bradford White Water Heaters, Rheem Water Heating, Rinnai America Corp. and A. O. Smith Water Heaters, have joined forces with the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a consortium of efficiency program administrators from across the U.S. and Canada, to become part of the Coalition for Energy Star Water Heaters.

To increase awareness of Energy Star water heaters and demand in the market by reaching out to all points on the distribution system, CEE formed the Coalition for Energy Star Water Heaters. The group is comprised of industry associations, efficiency program administrators and water heater manufacturers who are among those offering a variety of Energy Star models.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2009, manufacturers were allowed to apply the Energy Star label for the first time to their qualifying models. To be eligible for Energy Star, a gas-fired water heater must have a minimum energy factor of 0.62 for storage water heaters, a minimum EF of 0.80 for condensing storage water heaters, or a minimum EF of 0.82 for tankless water heaters. The Energy Star criteria for gas-fired storage water heaters will increase to 0.67 on Sept. 1, 2010. Criteria have also been established for heat pump water heaters and solar water heating systems.

Energy Star models will continue to advance energy efficiency, help reduce energy consumption and save money through reduced utility bills. Water heating is typically the second largest home energy expenditure behind heating and cooling. Because it can account for as much as 15% to 17% of overall energy use in an average household, switching to an Energy Star water heater can provide homeowners with significant savings.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy projections, Americans using Energy Star qualified water heaters are expected to save approximately $780 million in utility costs while avoiding 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions after the first five years of the Energy Star program.

The individual efficiency programs of CEE are able to partner not only with each other, but also with other industries, trade associations and government agencies. By working together at CEE, administrators leverage the effect of their funding dollars, exchange information on effective practices and, by doing so, achieve greater energy efficiency for the public good.