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Putting high efficiency on the radar

​Jennifer knows how to save a penny when it comes to energy use. “I used to work from home and you’d typically find me wearing two sweaters and a blanket wrapped around my legs just so I wouldn’t have to turn up the heat,” says Jennifer.

Jennifer also knew that her family’s water heater was nearing the end of its useful life and would have to soon be replaced. At 17 years, (the average lifespan of a natural gas storage tank water heater is 10 to 12 years) it was no longer functioning as it should. “The water just wasn’t as hot as it should be and it didn’t last long, taking a long time to heat up,” adds Jennifer.

With a water heater that was well past its average lifespan why hadn’t Jennifer’s family replaced theirs yet? “We were going to wait until it completely died and then replace it with a new equivalent model,” said Jennifer.

Then in 2012 she heard that our 0.67 ENERGY STAR® Water Heater Pilot Program was looking for participants.

The pilot’s goal was to determine not only the efficiency of ENERGY STAR® 0.67 storage tank models, but also consumer demand. Customers with older, but operational, standard efficiency storage tank models were needed. Luckily for Jennifer she applied and was accepted.

After a three month energy use monitoring phase of the old water heater, the new one was installed. The change was immediately noticed by Jennifer’s family. “Now we have reliable hot water—water that’s actually hot! Plus it heats up faster when we turn the tap on."

What has Jennifer learned from the process? “Before getting involved in the pilot, I considered my family to be very energy conscious. I’d tease my husband if he left the stove light on, the kids are keen recyclers and we wash our clothes in cold water. But going high efficiency really wasn’t on our radar until we started reading about what FortisBC had to offer. Even though we received an incentive, I do believe that when it comes time to replace our other natural gas appliances, we will spend a little more money to get a higher efficiency model as we’ll save money in the long run.”

For Jennifer and her husband, it’s also about setting a good example for their children so that saving energy becomes second nature.

The pilot program is now closed, but you too can qualify for rebates on high-efficiency water heaters, including the 0.67 ENERGY STAR storage tank model Jennifer installed.