The water heater in our house is from 2003 and was there when we bought the house. I’m trying to decide if it would be cost effective to go ahead and replace it. It’s a standard 4500W electric tank heater. It’s in a small closet in the middle of the house, so as-is, I would not be able to go with a HPWH. Though, depending on how much it costs to move the water heater to my garage, this could potentially be an option. Though, a heat pump seems more complex and costly to repair, so I dunno…
I know newer electric tank heaters are “more efficient” only because they have better insulation. Here are a couple of pictures of my tank.
First, the model information:
Energy Guide sticker:
It estimates about 5kWh per year. I’m not sure how they come to those numbers, but we definitely don’t use hot water that much. Maybe it’s because we actively try to conserve power and water. We don’t use hot water when doing laundry for example.
I’ve had Sense since last August, and in November I had an incident where Sense merged my water heater with my stove and I had to delete it. So I have a full months data for Sep, Oct, Dec, and Jan. If I average those 4 months together, I get about 127kWh per month. Multiplied by 12, that’s about 1,518lWh for the year and about $210 worth of electricity. When I was researching solar, I put 2 years worth of usage from my bills into a spreadsheet; that amount of electricity is about 15% of our yearly usage.
Another data point: The Energy Guide sticker says estimated 4989 kWh. Looking at some newer Rheem models, the stickers say estimated use of about 3500 kWh. That’s about a 30% reduction in power used, presumably because better insulation means it turns on less often between uses. That would put us using about 1,067 kWh for the year and about $146. That’s a savings of only $65 per year. So it would pay for itself, but it would take 10 years to do so. But, I do have a toddler and a 5 month old, so I expect the amount of hot water I need to increase over the next 10 years, so we’ll just say payback period of 8 - 10 years, which coincidentally happens to be the same as my solar panels.
So how can you help me? I’m looking for info from people that have newer electric heaters, hybrid, or heat pump heaters. Post the info from your energy guide sticker, a general summary of your hot water usage, and if you have it, actual electric consumption usage from Sense.
Not looking to actually replace for probably a year or two. Just researching for now.