Cut your water heating bills with a few simple steps

Heating water for your faucets, showers and appliances can consume up to 20% of your home’s energy. That’s a big slice of any homeowner’s budget. But the good news is that you can reduce your utility bill and cut down your energy use with some relatively simple steps.

Energy-efficient heaters can reduce costs

The easiest place to start is by choosing an energy-efficient water heater. Water heaters that use less energy cost less to operate, so if you’re in the market for a new water heater, remember to factor in those savings when it’s time to upgrade. You could save significant money in the long run.

But no matter the age or efficiency level of your water heater, you can still trim your monthly utility bill by making some quick, energy-saving upgrades elsewhere in your home.

Upgrade your  faucets and showerheads

When you use less water, there’s less water to heat. So install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads in your kitchens and bathrooms. They’ll cut down on water use – and your energy bill.

Keep an eye out for leaky faucets because they can waste gallons of water in a short period of time. One drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water per year, according to the Department of Energy.

Check your pipes for insulation

Adding insulation around piping can minimize heat loss, so be sure to insulate at least the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes that connect to your water heater. And check all hot water lines and tanks to be sure they are insulated. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to add insulation.

Optimize your thermostat settings

Consider setting the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will provide comfortable hot water for most uses.

Maintain your system

Drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for how to do this safely.

Want to learn more energy-saving tips? Visit to find practical tools and information that can help you maximize your home’s energy efficiency, save you money and help you protect the systems that run your home.


© 2016 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only.

Ernest Freeman

Vice President of Engineering in Hartford Steam Boiler's Loss Control Engineering Group, with over 39 years of experience in equipment operation and maintenance. He is a Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM), member of The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) and a licensed commissioned Inspector by The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.


  • Building Water & Energy Solutions has a provisional patent on enabling buildings to turn down their domestic water heater temperature set point safely to save energy and maintenance and still have protection from legionella. Maybe HSB would like to insure our results?

  • I’ve never really thought about the benefits of upgrading faucets and shower heads to be more efficient. It makes sense that if you’re using less water, you’re going to be paying less for water. But the fact that a small leak can lead to using so much more water is a little surprising. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.