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Comparing Water Heater Efficiency

Comparing Water Heaters
Energy-Efficient Water Heaters Save You Money!

Energy factors (EF) can vary dramatically from one model to another - and there's a direct link between a system's EF and its operating costs. Here are some examples:

  • An energy-efficient electric storage tank water heater with an EF of 0.94 would typically cost about $75 more to purchase than a conventional electric water heater with an EF of 0.88. However, the energy-efficient system would generate energy savings of about $214 over 10 years compared to the conventional water heater (assuming an electricity price of $0.08 per kWh).
  • A typical electric heat pump water heater would have an EF COP (coefficient of performance) of 1.75 and annual energy costs of only $169. Over 10 years, the heat pump system would save the homeowner a whopping $1,670 in energy costs compared to a conventional electric storage tank heater - but it would also cost almost $800 more to purchase.
  • A low mass gas-fired water heater with an EF of 0.70 would save the typical household almost $400 in energy costs over 10 years compared to a traditional vented gas-fired heater (assuming a natural gas price of $0.25 per cubic metre). After paying the initial $125 premium to purchase the low mass system, the homeowner would save $275 over 10 years.
  • A power vented propane-fired storage tank water heater with an EF of 0.70 would save a household more than $900 over 10 years compared to a traditional vented system with an EF of 0.53 (assuming a propane price of $0.38 per litre). The purchase premium of $75 for the more energy-efficient system would be quickly recovered in energy cost savings.
  • An oil-fired storage tank water heater with an EF of 0.60 would save a household about $625 over 10 years compared to a traditional water heater with an EF of 0.50 (assuming a heating oil price of $0.55 per litre). Taking into account the purchase premium of $125, the homeowner would save $500 over 10 years.

Source: Natural Resouces Canada (NRCan) - Office of Energy Efficiency