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Electric Storage Water Heaters (ESWH)

Updates and News

To support utility program, BPA is now providing an Electric Storage Water Heater Qualified Product list, updated quarterly. See below.

The Benefits of Efficient Electric Storage Water Heaters

While electric storage water heaters are a basic technology, there are still more efficient models within this product category that use less energy to heat water. Inefficient water heaters waste energy either through poor storage tank insulation or inefficient heating elements. A water heater that is more than 10 years old is much less efficient than a current model and is a prime candidate for replacement.

  • A high efficiency model will reduce energy waste
  • Installing a new, efficient storage water heater is fast and easy

How BPA Supports Efficient Electric Storage Water Heaters

BPA supports utility-run water heater programs in the following ways:

  • Track upcoming changes in Federal Regulations of water heater efficiency
  • Maintain Total Resource Cost effective (TRC) measures with BPA reimbursement to support utility programs
  • Provide access to qualified products lists and regional marketing opportunities

Please note: BPA does not provide incentives directly to homeowners. Please contact your local utility.

How Efficient Electric Storage Water Heaters Work

An electric storage water heater operates by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the hot water tap. As water is used, cold water enters the bottom of the tank and is heated by the heating elements, ensuring that the tank is always full. Since water is constantly heated in the tank, energy can be wasted even when a hot water tap isn't running. This is called standby heat loss

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy provides a helpful comparison of Life Cycle costs of water heaters across fuel type and technology.

Program Tools and Resources

  • Electric Storage Water Heater Product List (from AHRI)
  • Utilities should always refer to the most current BPA Implementation Manual for specifications, documentation requirements and current BPA reimbursement levels
  • BPA supports the electric storage water heat program with a variety of residential marketing toolkit materials that can be customized by utility. BPA marketing materials are located in the Promotional Materials section of the BPA website.


For more information please contact Sarah F. Moore, Residential Sector Leader at


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