Spend $150 now and SAVE $48 each year... ROI = 32%
Water heating in an office can account for three to nine percent of the total energy load. At the US average for a ten person office, the total energy cost is $5,680 and at 6% of that, the average cost to heat water is $340 annually. On the low end, a ten person office could spend $170 per year or $510 on the high end. While the energy costs alone are modest, you pay for your water more than once. It costs to buy the water, to heat it (for hot water), and then to get rid of it (sewage charges).
Saving water can have a compound benefit. Hot water savings opportunities:
- Quick Fix - Set Temperature Appropriately. In an office, water heaters do not need to be set higher than 120 degrees. Many water heaters come from the factory with settings of 130 or 140 degrees. Save energy and increase employee safety by turning the temperature down. Reducing the setting from 140 to 120 degrees could save over 18 percent of the energy used at the higher setting. Even a 10-degree reduction will save more than 6 percent in water-heating energy. Take the minute to turn it down and you could save between $30 and $90 each year.
- Re-Size Your Water Heater . Many small offices have 50-gallon water heaters, just like homes. With no showering, laundry, or dishwashing, that may be much more capacity than you need. A smaller tank will reduce the “stand-by” losses from your water heater.
- Insulate Your Water Heater. Newer heaters have relatively high insulation, so to see if an Insulation Blanket is right for your office, just put your hand on the outside of the heater. If it feels warm, then you can save money by wrapping it. The water in the tank is heated up to 120 to 140 Degrees. A $25 insulation blanket can save you about 10% depending on the quality of your tank. With savings of about $34 over the winter, it pays for itself very quickly.
- Replace Your Water Heater. If you need to replace your water heater, consider a gas model that costs a few hundred dollars more than an electric one. It might cost more now, but it can save you more than $100 annually on your energy bill. If you choose to replace your old water heater, choose one with an Energy Factor (EF) of .62 or higher and a recovery efficiency of .75. Also consider an Office On-Demand Water Heater or going for Solar Hot Water. The majority of states offer financial incentives for using solar technologies, increasing their cost effectiveness.
The ROI Calculation is based on the added cost of a high efficiency heater over a standard heater and savings of 15% for the 120 degree setting and higher unit recovery and insulation factor. To also get a Tax Credit, choose a slightly more efficient heater: gas, oil, or propane hot water heaters with a minimum Energy Factor of 0.80 or an electric hot water heater with a minimum Energy Factor of 2.0.
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