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A hot water heater makes up 19% of your energy bill. Why it’s important to research a replacement before an emergency

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, you should start thinking about your options and what type of replacement is best suited for your needs. Doing at least a little light research now means that you won’t frantically gather information when the old one fails on a Friday night at 10pm during a snowstorm! Because this is something that you’ll use daily for the next 10-15 years, you’ll want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

First a few facts:

  • Water heaters are the 2nd highest energy user in the home—about 19% of your energy bill.
  • Canadians use an average of 75 Litres of hot water each at home every day—for washing dishes and clothing, cleaning and showering or bathing.
  • The most common types of water heater sold in Canada are storage tank units.  ENERGY STAR certified gas-storage water heaters use up to 14% less energy than conventional units.

Knowing those statistics, you may want to consider a tankless water heater. They heat flowing water only when required, and essentially provide endless hot water.  Tankless units also use 30% less energy than conventional storage type units. When considering this change, understand that they are a bit more expensive than standard ones, but they do come at a variety of price points.

Heat pump water heater (HPWH) technology does not generate heat directly. It moves heat from one place to another. Heat is taken from the air in the basement or utility room (or sometimes from outside) and transferred to a tank of water.  An ENERGY STAR certified heat pump water heater uses up to 50% less energy, on average, than a standard electrical water heater.

Both of those are good options, but if you’re really looking to save some money in your utility bills, a solar water heater is the way to go. They use a remarkable 60% less energy, on average, than a standard model. In Canada, a SDHW system can provide up to 60 percent of the hot water for an average home, depending on local climate and typical hot water use.

Your water heater is an underappreciated workhorse in your home. You will thank yourself for figuring out the best option for your home before your current one breaks down.

For more energy saving tips and products, visit, administered by Natural Resources Canada