Electricity versus gas
Traditional water heaters are either powered by electricity or natural gas. Gas is a much more efficient fuel for heating water, and many states are phasing out electrical systems to save money for consumers and cut greenhouse emissions.
The first way to save on your water heating bills is to change from an old electrical system to something more energy efficient – either gas or solar.
Not all houses have gas piped in though and the savings aren’t as big with liquefied natural gas (LNG) bottles. In this case it’s possible to install solar panels to heat your water, with an electric or LNG booster that takes over on cloudy days.
Both gas and electric water heaters come in storage or instantaneous models. Storage heaters keep hot water in a tank and top it up as it gets used, whereas instantaneous models only heat water when you turn on the hot tap.
The difference is that storage heaters lose heat while the hot water sits there, which wastes energy and adds to your bill.
You should investigate instantaneous units as a means to lower your energy bill – they also have the added bonus of never running out of hot water, which storage systems tend to do.
When you’ve decided on the type of water heater for you, there are other things to think about before buying. Firstly, size – if you’re an empty nester wanting to save on energy bills then you no longer need a large system designed for a family.
Secondly, check out energy star ratings on gas water heaters to make sure that you’re getting bang for your buck.
And finally, the best way to save on your heating bills during winter is to make sure that you’re getting the best energy rates.