Commercial Water Heating Equipment

Department of Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) has regulated the energy efficiency level of commercial water heating equipment since 1992. Commercial water heating equipment includes gas-fired, electric, and oil-fired commercial storage water heaters, gas-fired and oil-fired instantaneous water heaters and hot water supply boilers, and unfired hot water storage tanks. Commercial water heating equipment is used to provide hot water on demand and is industrial equipment. Storage water heaters heat and store water in a thermostatically controlled tank. Instantaneous water heaters heat water on demand. Hot water supply boilers heat potable water for uses other than space heating. Unfired hot water storage tanks are tanks that store water that is heated externally.

    Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Water Heating Equipment

    Summary: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), as amended, prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including commercial water heaters, hot water supply boilers, and unfired hot water storage tanks (hereinafter referred to as “commercial water heating (CWH) equipment”). EPCA also requires that every six years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) must determine whether more-stringent, amended standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would save a significant amount of energy. In this action, DOE has tentatively concluded that there is clear and convincing evidence to support more-stringent standards for several classes of the equipment that are the subject of this rulemaking. DOE did not consider more stringent standards in this action for commercial oil-fired storage water heaters, whose standards were recently amended. Therefore, DOE proposes amended energy conservation standards for certain commercial water heating equipment, and also announces a public meeting to receive comment on these proposed standards and associated analyses and results.

    Type of Regulation: Energy Conservation Standard

    Rulemaking Link: Rulemaking Webpage

    Docket ID: EERE-2014-BT-STD-0042


    Comment Period Close Date: Closed

    Where to Comment: EERE-2014-BT-STD-0042

    AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemaking:


    Test Procedure for Residential and Certain Commercial Water Heaters (Conversion Factor)

    Summary: The American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA), Public Law 112-210 amended, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163, require that along with developing a uniform efficiency descriptor for covered water heaters, DOE must also develop a mathematical conversion factor to translate the results for water heaters previously tested using the efficiency metric under the existing test procedure to the new uniform descriptor. (42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(5)(E)). DOE is conducting this rulemaking to develop the mathematical conversion factor as required by EPCA, as amended.

    Type of Regulation: Test Procedure

    Rulemaking Link: Rulemaking Webpage

    Docket ID: EERE-2015-BT-TP-0007


    Comment Period Close Date: Closed

    Where to Comment: EERE-2015-BT-TP-0007

    AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemaking:

    • 2016-10-04 — AHRI supplemental comments
    • 2016-09-29 — AHRI comment response to WH Conversion Factor SNOPR
    • 2016-09-01 — AHRI Request for comment period extension
    • 2015-06-15 — AHRI supplemental comments to May 14, 2015 and June 12, 2015 submissions.
    • 2015-06-12 — AHRI comment expanding on comments submitted May 14, 2015, includes data spreadsheet.
    • 2015-05-28 — Transcript: Test Procedures for Residential and Certain Commercial Water Heaters Conversion Factors Rulemaking Meeting.
    • 2015-05-14 — AHRI comment response to published Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), includes Test Results.

    Staff Contact: Kyle Bergeron

    Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces and Commercial Water Heaters

    Summary: The Department of Energy (DOE) received a petition asking DOE to: issue an interpretive rule stating that DOE's proposed energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters would result in the unavailability of “performance characteristics” within the meaning of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (i.e., by setting standards which can only be met by condensing combustion technology products/equipment and thereby precluding the distribution in commerce of non-condensing combustion technology products/equipment) and withdraw the proposed energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters based upon such findings.

    Type of Regulation: Energy Conservation

    Rulemaking Link: Rulemaking Webpage

    Docket ID:EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018


    • Posted: July 11, 2019 — Granting in part and denying in part a petition for rulemaking; notice of proposed interpretive rule; request for comment
    • Posted: January 29, 2019 — Notice of petition for rulemaking; extension of public comment period
    • Posted: November 1, 2018 — Notice of petition for rulemaking; request for comment

    Comment Period Close Date: Closed

    Where to Comment:EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018

    AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemaking:

    Staff Contact: Laura Petrillo-Groh


    Standard Level

    The following content summarizes the energy conservation standards for commercial water heating equipment. The text is not an official reproduction of the Code of Federal Regulations and should not be used for legal research or citation.

    Current Standard:

    Commercial water heating equipment manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), on and after October 29, 2003 must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 431.110. This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

    Each commercial storage water heater, instantaneous water heater, unfired hot water storage tank and hot water supply boiler must meet the applicable energy conservation standard level(s) as follows. (Note: Any packaged boiler that provides service water that meets the definition of "commercial packaged boiler" in subpart E of this part, but does not meet the definition of "hot water supply boiler" in subpart G, must meet the requirements that apply to it under subpart E.)


    To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 431.106 for commercial water heating equipment. These are also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

    Direct Final Rule: Test Procedures and Standards, Federal Register, FR 69 61974 (Oct. 21, 2004)

    Amended Test Procedure:

    DOE published amended test procedures on May 16, 2012. The test procedures are required on or after May 13, 2013.

    For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

    AHRI comments to rulemaking:


    Current Product Specifications:

    Commercial Water Heaters Program Requirements Version 2.0

    In Development:

    There are no new versions currently in development.

    Applying for Energy Star:

    To qualify a new product, contact an EPA-recognized Certification Body (CB) to have the product's performance certified. A list of EPA-recognized CBs, as well as an overview of EPA's third-party certification procedures, is available at Third-Party Certification. AHRI is an EPA-recognized CB. Email [email protected] for more information.

    More Information:

    Energy Star Commercial Water Heater Website