June 1, 2009–Today’s Way: If you have a hot water heater, it’s most likely installed in your basement (if you have a basement, that is), which is typically the coldest place in the house.  So, you’ve got a huge tank of water fighting to stay hot in the one place where it’s coolest, and losing a great deal of heat in the process.  A simple and inexpensive solution is to insulate the water heater tank to help it retain its heat, and thereby saving 25–45% of standby heat loss energy at the same time.  There are special hot water heater jackets, which are pre-shaped insulated blankets that you can purchase for under $35 at your local hardware or home improvement store.  Over the course of a year, the blanket can pay for itself on your water heating bills.  Also, you may want to check with your utility company for any available installation programs, discounts or credits—you may be able to have an energy auditor install the jacket for you, or even receive a credit for improving your energy usage.

To learn more about installing water heater jackets yourself, visit this helpful tutorial from energysavers.gov.