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Money Saver: Water Heating

ShowerheadWater heating accounts for nearly 20 percent of the energy costs in a typical home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). By finding ways to conserve water use and improve the efficiency of your hot water appliances and equipment, you can save substantially on your utility bills.

Conserving water and energy

  • Fix leaking faucets quickly; a dripping faucet can waste gallons of water each day.
  • Run a full load to conserve water and energy when operating dishwashers, clothes washers and other appliances that use hot water.
  • Take showers, not baths since they use less water. Consider using a timer to encourage household members to take shorter showers.
  • Install low-flow fixtures such as faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads. These fixtures can help lower your water heating costs and reduce water usage by up to 60 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Lower the temperature of your hot water heater to 120°F. You can reduce your water heating costs by 6 to 10 percent, according to the EPA.
  • Insulate your hot water tank if it's an older unit, but be careful not to cover the thermostat or the burner on natural gas units. Newer, high-efficiency water heaters may not require insulation.
  • Insulate pipes, specifically the first six feet of the hot water pipes connected to your water heater.

Long-term savings

  • Install a new, energy-efficient natural gas water heater. While energy-efficient water heaters may cost more than standard models, the energy savings over the lifetime of the appliance can be substantial. Use the yellow EnergyGuide label to estimate the annual operating cost. Pensacola Energy offers money saving rebates on both tank and tankless natural gas water heaters. Visit or call 850-435-5050 for details.
  • Energy-efficient appliances. Replace older dishwashers and clothes washers with new, ENERGY STAR® rated models, which use less water and are more energy efficient than standard units..
  • Hot water on demand. Natural gas demand or tankless water heaters provide hot water as needed, without the standby losses associated with storage water heaters. According to the DOE, demand units can be 8 to 34 percent more efficient than storage tank heaters, depending on the size of the home. Pensacola Energy offers rebates up to $1,200 when you convert to tankless natural gas water heating. Visit or call 850-436-5050 for more information.

Solar water heating

Solar water heating is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to provide hot water for your home. Solar water heaters often require a conventional backup unit for cloudy days or periods of high demand.  A backup natural gas water heater is a good choice for this application; contact Pensacola Energy at 850-436-5050 to learn more about special incentives. An ENERGY STAR qualified solar water heater can reduce your water heating costs by 50 percent.

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