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Are You Ready for NAECA 2015 Changes (Demo)

DID YOU KNOW: Some of the biggest changes to hit the water heating industry in years are just around the corner?

A higher Energy Factor (EF) will soon be required for all residential storage tank-type, gas, electric and oil water heaters. Sure, government mandates like these happen from time to time, but this time the changes will directly impact water heating selection and installation.

Just how well prepared is the industry for these pending changes, which take effect next month? A large trade magazine publisher in the field, BNP Media’s Plumbing Group, recently polled its plumbing wholesaler and contractor readers and found varied levels of awareness and preparedness.

The bottom line? If those who sell and install water heaters every day for a living feel they need more information and education, it’s obvious that everyone else in the distribution chain does too — including builders and remodelers.

Here is what you need to know:

What is NAECA? The new mandates of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) go into effect April 16th and will drive change for a good reason.

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), the latest standards to become effective for 2015 project approximately $63 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped over a 30-year period, from 2015-2044.

While these standards play a major role in the efforts to save energy, there will be obvious challenges for the installation of residential water heaters in replacement situations; specifically, those that involve storage tank-type units.

Why? Because manufacturer compliance with NAECA regulations will necessitate product-design changes. These changes, in turn, will require more installation space in both single-family and multi-family dwellings.

Under the new regulations, tank-type water heaters must use more insulation to stay in line with these new energy mandates. Tank-type water heaters under 55 gallons will be an additional two inches taller and two inches wider. That is, they will take up more space. Since many water heaters are situated in places — garages, basements, closets, attics — that cannot afford to give any more space, that could be a big problem when it comes time to replace them.

The following two tables outlines the changes in EF standards for common sizes of tank-type water heaters:


Gas Tank-TypeWater Heater(Energy Factor Changes) 20-55 Gallons Greater than 55 Gallons
Rated Storage Volume 30 40 50 60 65 75
Current Standard (EF) 0.61 0.59 0.58 0.56 0.55 0.53
New 2015 Standard (EF) 0.63 0.62 0.60 0.75 0.75 0.74



Electric Tank-Type Water Heater(Energy Factor Changes) 20-55 Gallons Greater than 55 Gallons
Rated Storage Volume 20 30 40 50 65 80 120
Current Standard (EF) 0.94 0.93 0.92 0.90 0.88 0.86 0.81
New 2015 Standard (EF) 0.95 0.95 0.95 0.95 1.98 1.97 1.92


For gas-fired products over 55 gallons, fully condensing combustion technology will be required. Similarly, all residential electric models over 55 gallons must use hybrid electric heat pump water heater technology.

Impact on tankless? Fortunately, tankless technology already meets and exceeds the demands of the new NAECA guidelines. The average EF of most tankless water heaters is already 20 to 30 points above that of a standard, tank-type water heater. In addition, tankless units are wall-hung, meaning that they will easily fit into tight spaces that cannot accommodate the new and larger tank water heaters.

Using tankless water heaters in new and existing home applications will ensure that the NAECA guidelines will be met with ease, both now and in the future. What’s more, the latest solution from Noritz makes it easier and more cost-effective in tankless-for-tank replacement situations. The new Noritz EZTR40 Tankless Water Heater is able to meet the needs of an entire household that is currently using a 40-gallon storage-type water heater.

Noritz University has even created an online course for tradespeople interested in learning about this new, innovative solution. Be sure to check out: https://training.noritz.com/.

For more information on tankless waters and the EZTR40, please visit us at https://www.noritz.com/eztr.