Energy Efficiency Design Options for Residential Water Heaters: Economic Impacts on Consumers

TitleEnergy Efficiency Design Options for Residential Water Heaters: Economic Impacts on Consumers
Publication TypeReport
LBNL Report NumberLBNL-4603E
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLekov, Alexander B., Victor H. Franco, Stephen Meyers, Lisa Thompson, and Virginie E. Letschert
Document NumberLBNL-4603E
Pagination10
Date PublishedJanuary 1
PublisherLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
CityBerkeley
Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently completed a rulemaking process in which it amended the existing energyefficiency standards for residential water heaters. A key factor in DOE's consideration of new standards is the economicimpacts on consumers. Determining such impacts requires a comparison of the additional first cost of energy efficiencydesign options with the savings in operating costs. This paper describes the method used to conduct the life-cycle cost (LCC)and payback period analysis for gas and electric storage water heaters. It presents the estimated change in LCC associatedwith more energy-efficient equipment, including heat pump electric water heaters and condensing gas water heaters, for arepresentative sample of U.S. homes. The study included a detailed accounting of installation costs for the considered designoptions, with a focus on approaches for accommodating the larger dimensions of more efficient water heaters. For heatpump water heaters, the study also considered airflow requirements, venting issues, and the impact of these products on theindoor environment. The results indicate that efficiency improvement relative to the baseline design reduces the LCC in themajority of homes for both gas and electric storage water heaters, and heat pump electric water heaters and condensing gaswater heaters provide a lower LCC for homes with large rated volume water heaters.

Notes

Conference Paper, 2011 ASHRAE Winter Conference, January 29-February 2, 2011

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