According to an article posted by Erin Cargile for kxan on March 10, 2015, “The U.S. Department of Energy will start enforcing new energy efficiency standards for hot water heaters April 16. The updates to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) require units that are larger, more costly and more environmentally friendly.”
Because some of these new water heaters are about 2 inches wider than the older models, the new ones may not fit into the same place. This is not very convenient obviously, but at least a public radio announcement was made to warn people about the upcoming changes and to invite them to replace their water heaters before the April deadline. This way people can still purchase the small older (and cheaper) models before they’re no longer available.
Cargile’s article says that, “…the average life span of a hot water heater is about seven years. A professional can help you determine the age of your current hot water heater based on the serial number. Replacing it now will cost between $1,000 to $2,000.
The price for the new energy efficient models is yet to be determined, but is expected to be 30 percent higher. Environmentally friendly and energy efficient is the good news!