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A. O. Smith is Here to Help – About the New NAECA Guidelines

The upcoming revision to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, otherwise known as NAECA, will impact the design of most new water heaters. Under the new NAECA regulations most water heaters will be larger, requiring more space for installation.

The NAECA Guidelines
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulates minimum energy efficiency requirements for water heaters. The first set of regulations—known as the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA)—were created in 1990 and later updated in 2004 to the current standards. A new update to the rules for increasing minimum energy efficiency standards was enacted in 2010 and goes into effect on April 16, 2015.

What does it mean to you?
A. O. Smith is making all the necessary improvements to its entire line of electric and gas water heaters to meet the new NAECA standards. So you don’t have to worry about the technology and engineering involved. However, those improvements will impact you in a number of ways, and you need to be aware of them when planning for the replacement of existing water heaters.

Product substitutions.
In order to meet certain efficiency standards, some water heaters will no longer be manufactured. If space is a concern, you may have to install a water heater with a smaller storage capacity or a unit with a similar storage capacity that may be larger in physical size than the existing water heater.

Applications to watch for.
If the water heater you’re replacing is located in a garage or full basement, the size changes may not be a problem at all. However, you will need to pay particular attention to any installations in closets and alcoves as well as in multi-family housing locations (apartments and condos) where space is limited. Also, installations where access is gained by using a narrow doorway may present a challenge. Customers should compare replacement expense vs. unit performance because certain replacement options that weren’t ideal before the NAECA 2015 change may now be more attractive based on new unit designs.

Sell-thru timelines vs. manufacturing.
The NAECA regulation effective date of April 16, 2015, applies only to the manufacture of water heaters. Manufacturers, distributors and contractors may continue to sell products manufactured prior to this date for an indefinite period of time.

We want our customers to be confident that A. O. Smith is taking the proper steps to be prepared for the new NAECA regulations. In fact, we already offer many high efficiency water heaters today that meet the 2015 NAECA requirements. To learn more about
our preparations and view a list of our units that already meet the 2015 NAECA standard, visit If you have further questions about NAECA and how A. O. Smith is addressing the new efficiency requirements, please contact your regional sales manager or sales rep agency.

See the A. O. Smith NAECA video here.