How can I save energy on my water heater?

Heating water is one of your largest annual energy expense. A water heater can consume approximately 600-kilowatt hours per month. At Vera’s current prices, that cost most folks about $40 monthly or $480 annually to heat water.

Consider a high-efficiency water heater
The initial investment should pay back in the lower operational costs.

Set the thermostat properly
Set the water heater no higher than 120°F or the minimum setting if the specific temperature can’t be set to prevent burns and to conserve energy.

Fix the drips
If you have a leaky faucet, you’re pouring money down the drain. A slow drip can waste up to 450 gallons of water a month. If it’s hot water, you’re not only paying to heat the water, you may be paying for the disposal, too.

Reduce the flow
Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators in your bathrooms and kitchen. They can cut water use up to 11% reducing your energy use. Consider taking short showers instead of baths. Showers typically use less hot water than baths, especially if the shower is less than five minutes. If you only need to wash your hair, try using the sink instead of taking a shower.

Use cold water
Use cold water to do the laundry or rinse dishes. Hot water for dishes use about 2 kilowatt hours of electricity (about 13¢) and washing a load of clothes uses about 5 kilowatt hours or about 33¢ per load.

Turn it off
Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, lathering your hands with soap, or scrubbing dishes.

Use your dishwasher
That’s right. Run your dishwasher when it’s full.

Source: Northwest Regional Group, a group of electric utilities in the Northwest

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