Monday, March 08, 2010

Our electric company in Alabama has a lot to say about electric tankless water heaters, and none of it is good.

In their magazine last month, and an insert in the bill this month, the electric company offers to buy and install a conventional water heater in place of an electric tankless at its expense. Or you can change it out yourself and receive a rebate of $1000, or you can keep it and pay a special higher rate after Dec 31, 2011.

This so-called energy efficient alternative ain't all that it's cracked up to be.

The reasons:

+ When the tankless fires up, it can draw as much as 36,000 watts of power, about eight times more than a conventional heater, which comes in around 4,500.

+ Many times a home's wiring and the utility company's equipment can't handle the load, causing flickering and dimming lights

+ Sometimes the company has to upgrade transformers and household meters.

+ Since this electric company is a co-op, that increased electric demand can lead to increases in power costs across the board.

None of that applies to gas tankless heaters. They prolly have their own problems.

But that's what Baldwin EMC has to say to you, Bubba.

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