Heat water efficiently

The water heater uses a large amount of energy in most homes. The average household spends about $15-20 per month to heat water. There are a number of things you can do to conserve energy and trim your water heating costs.

  • Use less hot water
  • Install water-conserving showerheads and faucet aerators
  • Repair leaky faucets immediately
  • Wash only full loads in your washer, using cold water whenever possible
  • Adjust the water level on your washing machine to match the load size
  • Avoid pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher
  • Run your dishwasher instead of hand washing; it uses a third less water
  • Use the energy-saving cycle
  • Adjust the temperature on your water heater; lower the hot water thermostat to 120 degrees

Consider buying a new water heating system

The average life of a standard electric water heater is about ten years. If you're in the market for a new one, here are some things to consider when shopping around.

  • Efficiency - Higher efficiency water heaters may cost more up front, but they will save you money over time because they use less electricity to operate.
  • Size - Assess your family's present and future hot water needs and purchase a water heater to match your family's size based on the chart below.

Family Size

Heater Size

2 people


3 people


4 people


5 people


  • Comparison - Look at the EnergyGuide labels on the units you are considering. Compare operating costs and operating efficiency.