WASHINGTON — New energy efficiency standards for water heaters issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently took effect April 16, according to a Natural Resource Defense Council Staff Blog post titled, “New Water Heating Efficiency Standards Deliver Great Savings, But There's More to Be Done,” written by Robin Roy, NRDC’s director of Building Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Strategy.

The standards were finalized in April 2010, which gave the water heater industry time to plan and make the necessary investments needed to manufacture more efficient products, stated the blog post.

According to DOE, these new standards are forecast to net savings of up to $8.4 billion for consumers over the next 30 years, reported the blog post.

Through 2045, the blog post continued, total energy savings are a projected 2.6 quads, which is about the same amount of energy used by 15 million households a year.

“A key aspect of the new standards is that large electric water heaters (over 55 gallons) will use heat pump technology, which can cut energy use by more than 50 percent,” informs Roy in the blog post. “That's a huge improvement — these heaters will use less than half the energy of electric resistance water heaters. Boding well for the future of efficient, economic water heating, manufacturers have also introduced heat pump water heaters in the highly popular 50-gallon size. This is great news, and holds enormous promise for energy and consumer savings beyond what DOE estimated.”

Read the entire NRDC blog post here.