Editor's Note: The infographic has been updated to include electricity as a possible fuel source for heat pump water heaters.
We are all guilty of using a little too much hot water in our daily lives -- whether it is spending an extra two minutes in the shower, leaving the water running while washing dishes or washing clothes on hot water instead of cold. Taken together, these habits of wasting water add up. So it is no surprise that the average household spends $400-$600 a year on water heating -- accounting for 14-18 percent of homeowners’ utility bills. If you are looking for ways to save on water heating costs, you have plenty of options.
Interested in low-cost improvements you can do yourself? We have two new Energy Saver water heating Savings Projects. These do-it-yourself guides provide step-by-step instructions to water heating improvements that will save you energy and money. Setting your water heater temperature too high can waste $36-$61 a year in standby heat losses -- not to mention more than $400 in demand losses. Learn how to safely lower your water heating temperature. Another way to save money on water heating costs is to insulate your hot water pipes. This small improvement can help raise your water temperature 2-4 degrees F.
For long-term investments, consider purchasing an energy-efficient water heater. Whether you're looking at tankless water heaters or considering solar, our new Energy Saver 101 water heater infographic lays out the different types of water heaters on the market and will help you figure out how to select the best option for your home.
Lowering your water heating costs is just one way to save money on energy costs. On Earth Day, Energy Department experts will answer your questions ways to save money on energy costs and incorporate renewable energy options in your home. We hope you’ll join us on April 22 at 3 pm ET for our Google+ Hangout on home energy efficiency, and be sure to submit your questions now!