Frequently Asked Questions - Water Heating

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  • I’ve submitted a rebate application some time ago but have heard nothing back?

    The average processing time for rebates is 6-8 weeks. If the rebate is approved, your electricity account will be credited and the next bill will be noted with the rebate program, and amount of the rebate. If the rebate is not approved, we will notify you in writing, either by mail or email depending on how the rebate was submitted.

  • How much money can you save for each degree that you turn down the thermostat?

    How much you save depends on how warm you keep your home and therefore on how much energy you consume for heating. Generally you can expect to save about two percent on your energy bill for every degree Celsius you set back your thermostat.

  • What does the term “R-value” mean?

    R-value is a measure of how well a material resists the passage of heat. The higher the R-value, the slower the rate of heat transfer through the insulating material and the more effective insulation is in keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer. Insulation should always be judged by R-value rather than inches, as different insulation materials have different R-values per inch of thickness.

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  • Should I shut off my water heater if I plan to be away from home?

    If you are going to be away for more than a week, it is a good idea to turn off the water heater. If the water heater is electric, you can shut off the circuit breaker.

  • How do I check the temperature settings on my hot water tank?

    First, turn off the power supply to the hot water tank by switching off the circuit breaker for the tank. You will find the temperature controls behind an access panel on the side of the tank. There are usually two controls, one for each heating element.  Set both elements to the same temperature.

    For health and safety reasons you should set the temperature to no less than 60°C (140°F).

  • What size water heater should I have?

    It depends on your family size and lifestyle.  For an average family of four, a 150 litre (40 US gallon, or 33 Imperial gallon) tank should be sufficient.

  • How can I reduce the amount of hot water energy used in my home?

    There are a number of ways to reduce hot water energy usage in your home.

    • Make sure your hot water tank is set to the proper temperature–60°C (140°F)
    • Set your dishwasher to energy saver or water saver settings.
    • If you are considering purchasing a new dishwasher or clothes washer look for ENERGY STAR®.
    • Wash and rinse your clothes in cold water.  Clothes still get clean and the cold water setting helps reduce fading and wrinkling.
    • Install an aerator in your kitchen faucet.
    • Make sure the dishwasher or clothes washer has a full load before starting.
    • Install high performance showerheads and faucet aerators. Save $10 on high performance showerheads during Instant Rebate campaigns.
    • Fix leaky faucets.  A little drip can add up.
    • Take a shower instead of a bath.  A five minute shower with an energy efficient showerhead will use less hot water than a bath.
  • Aside from adjusting the temperature, are there other easy ways I can save on water heating?

    The simplest way to save is to use less hot water. Use high performance showerheads, wash clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot, and only run full loads in your clothes washer and dishwasher. You can get a takeCHARGE rebate on qualifying showerheads during Instant Rebate campaigns.

  • What is the best temperature setting for my water heater?

    For an electric water heater, set the thermostat to 60°C (140°F). This is the recommended temperature for health and safety. Bacteria can grow at lower temperatures, and above this, you run a high risk of scalding as well as wasting energy. Check the temperature at the faucet.

  • How important is it to insulate my electric water heater?

    Unless your electric water heater is located in an unheated basement or crawl space, it is not important to insulate the tank. A better energy efficiency investment is to insulate the first two metres of the hot water pipe leading from your water heater with pipe insulation.