The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Gas Technology Institute (GTI) to verify the rated performance of the new ENERGY STAR certified line of natural gas water heater products from A.O. Smith. Rating tests were conducted according to the U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) “Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Water Heaters.” In addition, the study sought to estimate the potential for energy and cost savings of the new products.
Results of the study showed that the non-powered damper ENERGY STAR water heater from A.O. Smith proved to save over 20% energy when compared to the legacy Energy Factor (EF) 0.59 gas storage water heaters. With an incremental cost of only $38 compared to a standard 50-gallon model, the simple payback period would be less than 3 years.
The Regional Technical Forum (RTF) recently passed a measure for natural gas water heaters which illustrates that the non-powered damper benefit-cost ratio is highest among tank style water heaters considered. The measure can be found at the RTF's website.