South Central Power

The benefits of choosing an electric water heater

July 18, 2016

By John Pulley

Call South Central Power at 800-282-5064As expected, most people don’t think much about water heaters. They take for granted that they make it possible to have hot showers, clean dinner dishes and enjoy load upon load of freshly laundered linens. The lonely water heater, tucked away in the basement or a utility closet, is out of sight and out of mind.

There are times, however, when your attention turns to that most essential of appliances: when an existing water heater breaks (“Brrr. That water is cold!”) or when building or renovating a home.

At those times, a homeowner will make a decision that has consequences that persist for a decade or two, maybe longer. Your water-heating choice will have implications for energy efficiency, cost of use, the environment, safety and reliability. As a trusted energy advisor, South Central Power can help you make the right decision.

As a member of the cooperative, you might already know about many of the advantages and benefits of electric water heaters. First, electric water heaters are safe. There is no threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, combustion or explosion. Electric water heaters are environmentally friendly and capable of using electricity generated from solar, wind, hydro and other renewable sources.

Electric water heaters are also easy to install, requiring no expensive gas lines, exhaust flue or on-site fuel tanks. Compared to other fuels, the cost of electricity is stable.

In addition, electric water heaters are emerging as a building block of the future electric grid. These formerly mundane units are evolving into smart appliances and energy storage units that are helping the grid become more stable and more efficient. By heating water when demand for electricity is low and storing the thermal energy for later use, electric water heaters can save you money.

Not everyone acknowledges the superiority of electric water heaters. In the coming months, you might see television commercials or other advertisements that will try to sell you on the merits of propane water heaters. A propane marketing group is behind the campaign, and there’s no telling what kind of claims they’ll make. The fact is that propane is a fossil fuel, and prices tend to fluctuate wildly. If you install a propane heater today, you’ll live with the consequences and risks for years to come. That’s the inconvenient truth.

If you have questions about water heater options or other energy efficiency needs, give us a call at 800-282-5064. At South Central Power, we’re here to be your trusted energy source.

John Pulley writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.