Will Your Water Heater Be Banned In Ontario Soon?
I can foresee something very similar happening to your 40 or 50 gallon water heaters that has happened to furnace systems recently. Here is why I think it’s only a matter of time before the Government forces you to upgrade your water heater.
In the past we all used some form of coal or oil burning furnace in the basement of our homes throughout Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe. As technology grew into our furnace systems we transitioned from that really noisy, high pollution, low efficiency systems to new mid-efficient natural gas furnaces. Then just as quickly we moved right into High efficiency natural gas or propane furnaces. This transition has occurred so quickly that some homes still have their old inefficient oil furnace. Those early adopters that purchased the upgrade to a mid efficient system likely regret not investing a bit more for the high efficiency version.
Now look at the tankless market in Ontario and see how things seem to be following the exact same path. The majority of home owners have conventional tank type water heaters that are low efficiency at best. Some home owners have transitioned over to mid efficiency tankless systems like your Rinnai R75 which is 80% efficient. While others have opted to invest a bit more for the high efficient condensing tankless at 94% efficiency or better.
In 1992 the Canadian Government mandated that every new furnace installed have a minimum of 78% efficiency, in 2010 it was raised to 90% or higher efficiency. I can certainly see how this minimum efficiency rating may be applied to your home water heating system as well. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Government took steps to mandate something like this in the near future.
Now there is nothing to be concerned about if you love your conventional tank type water heater, many manufactures now make high efficiency 40 or 50 gallon tanks that are able to provide a lower but still unlimited supply of hot water. These new tanks don’t require more fuel or energy; they just use it more efficiently. So for every dollar you spend heating water instead of throwing 60 cents of it out the exhaust vent why not use it to heat some water.
Your water heater is the 2nd largest portion of your energy bill, why would anyone continue to use a low efficiency conventional tank when there are so many high efficiency options available that can save you real money every month? For this reason I would support a mandated water heater efficiency transition similar to the one the Government enforced in the furnace industry.