This fall, the Energy Star program will increase its minimum Energy Factor (EF) for gas storage water heaters from 0.62 to 0.67.

The increase in criteria will go into effect on Sept. 1. Water heaters that meet the increased criteria offer up to 14% greater savings in gas consumption versus a conventional gas model. According to Energy Star calculations, 0.67 EF models consume about 224 therms per year. Gas storage heaters with a 0.62 EF consume about 242 therms annually, saving up to 7.3 percent more than a conventional model.

“Energy Star seeks to keep its product criteria relevant by keeping pace with changing technologies in the marketplace,” says Steve Ryan, coordinator of the EPA-administered program. “Storage water heaters are becoming more efficient, and this change recognizes that fact.”

Several 0.67 EF gas storage heaters are currently available, including many new products recently developed in preparation for the upcoming change. A.O. Smith, American, Apollo, BWC, GE, Reliance, Rheem, Richman, Ruud, State, and Whirlpool already have qualified products that meet the new requirement, according to EPA spokesperson Enesta Jones.

A water heater's Energy Factor indicates its overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater. A number of other types of Energy Star water heaters with even higher Energy Factors are available, including electric heat pump, solar thermal, and tankless units.

For more information about the new gas storage water heaters or to learn about rebate offers, click here.