Water Heater Fuel Cost Calculator

This tool provides a simple comparison of the annual fuel costs you can expect with various types of gas and electric water heaters.

The default values below are based on national average data, but you can enter your expected daily hot water use and your fuel costs, then click Calculate to get started. If you’re not sure what your typical daily hot water use is, here are some general guidelines you can use to come up with an estimate:

  • Average 10-minute shower: 20 gallons
  • Average faucet flow: 2 gallons/minute
  • Average clothes washer, per load: 10 gallons
  • Average dishwasher, per load: 6 gallons

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Average daily hot water use
Electricity cost
Natural gas cost $/therm
Water heater type
Annual energy costs ($)
Tank, baseline
Tank, efficient
Heat pump

Notes: a. Positive difference numbers indicate that an electric water heater is more expensive than a comparable gas version; negative numbers show that a gas water heater is more expensive than electric.
Energy factor values come from Energy Star’s final criteria analysis for water heaters. Daily hot water use guidelines come from the U.S. Department of Energy’s online calculator.

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