FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — The Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) criteria are being updated on April 18, 2023, modifying the qualifications for Energy Star certification in water heaters. These updates may affect Energy Star rebates and potentially void current Energy Star ratings on certain tankless water heater models, while other models remain applicable.
What are the updates?
Tankless Water Heaters
Otherwise referred to as instantaneous water heaters, criteria are met as long as the units contain no more than one gallon of water per 4,000 Btu per hour of input. The input should be less than 200,000 Btu per hour for gas-fired units. To meet the updated Energy Star requirements, the UEF must be equal to or greater than 0.95, up from the former 0.87.
Storage Water Heaters
Those that meet Energy Star criteria include gas storage water heaters with an input of 75,000 British thermal units (Btu) per hour or less and containing more than one gallon of water per 4,000 Btu per hour.
Effective April 18, 2023, Energy Star requires gas-fire storage water heaters of less than 55 gallons to have a medium draw pattern UEF equal to or greater than 0.81 and a high draw pattern of 0.86 or higher. For water heaters of more than 55 gallons, the medium draw pattern UEF must be equal to or greater than 0.86, with the high draw pattern UEF of 0.86 or higher.
Regarding electric heat pump water heaters, energy star criteria are met with a maximum current rating of 24 amperes at an input voltage of 250 volts or less. This would include all ancillary equipment.
High-Capacity Storage Water Heaters
To reach Energy Star status, gas-fired storage residential-duty commercial water heaters that deliver hot water equal to or less than 180°F will also hold an input rate greater than 75,000 Btu to 105,000 Btu per hour. These units will also contain more than one gallon of water per 4,000 Btu per hour of input. Storage must not exceed 120 gallons.
The UEF to meet Energy Star requirements will increase from 0.80 to 0.86 or higher with the modified criteria.
Eligible Noritz Tankless Water Heaters
EZ Series (EZ98DV, EZ111DV)
The EZ Series is Energy Star-certified with a 0.96 UEF and 25-year warranty, offering substantial energy and cost savings. Recently increased from a 0.95 UEF, the EZ Series blends two types of high-grade stainless steel in the heat exchangers that support each component’s function and a fully integrated non-return valve that streamlines common venting for up to two heaters.
In addition, the EZ Series now offers longer venting lengths extended to 65 feet for a 2-inch pipe and 150 feet for a three-inch pipe, and a new burner control to handle high incoming water temperatures in the summer. It also offers a steady BTU (SBTU) mode that reduces the effective minimum input by more than two-thirds.
NRCR (NRCR92DV, NRCR111DV)
The NRCR Residential Condensing Tankless Water Heater Series carries an ultra-high UEF of 0.95, using a fully integrated pump, dual, stainless-steel heat exchangers, and an auto mode that adapts to water usage, triggering a recirculation-loop activation with expected usage.
The NRCR also allows for venting lengths of 65 feet for 2-inch pipes and 150 feet for three-inch pipes and wi-fi capability to monitor and control the NRCR through a special app with on-off control, setpoint temperature adjustment, error-code checking, energy-consumption tracking, and scale-buildup detection.
The NCC199CDV Commercial Condensing Water Heater features an ultra-high UEF of 0.96 with an industry-best 10-year warranty. With its corrosion-resistant dual stainless steel heat exchangers and fully integrated exhaust non-return valve, the NCC199CDV assures operational safety while reducing cost and installation time.
It also offers a compact design, racking capabilities, an ultra-low-NOx, modulating Eco-burner, and high-altitude performance of up to 10,000 feet. Wi-fi capabilities allow for wireless remote control of heater functions through the Noritz Connect app.
Energy Efficiency Credit for 2023
Federal income tax credits for energy efficiency home improvements were introduced under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, with an update applicable for products purchased and installed after January 1, 2023. Qualified, Energy Star-certified equipment offers credits through 2032, encouraging people to invest in transitioning towards clean energy.
Principal-residence owners can claim up to 30% of a project cost, with a maximum amount of $600 credited. Houses, houseboats, mobile homes, cooperative apartments, condominiums, and manufactured homes must be located in the United States.
Tankless gas water heaters are required to be Energy Star models with a UEF of 0.95 or higher. Gas storage heater Energy Star models of less than 55 gallons must have a UEF of 0.81 or higher. Models equal to or greater than 55 gallons must have a UEF equal to or greater than 0.81. For more information on federal tax credits, click HERE