Commissioner proposes manditory energy-effecient water heaters ordinance

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer

City Commissioner Randall Crowder posed a question to attendees at Thursday night’s City Commission meeting: Do you turn your shower on and wait minutes for hot water?

Crowder said his research shows this common practice wastes approximately 25 gallons of water a day per household.

“I would like to issue a challenge to residents to get that number down,” Crowder said.

Crowder requested his fellow commissioners introduce an ordinance which would adopt new code sections related to energy conservation. The commissioner, who also builds homes, said all new homes should be required to install a new circulator pump in place of old water heaters.

The Commission voted unanimously to introduce the ordinance.

According to Crowder, the pump would eliminate hot water shortages by re-circulating the water in a continuous hot water pipe loop. “Instant hot water is a good thing,” Crowder said.

The commissioner also said the traditional water heater alternative would pay for itself in two to five years through energy savings.

President of the local New Mexico Home Builders Association Rick Andes said he and the association support the idea of circulator pumps in all new homes.

Commissioner Fred Van Soelen said he would support the ordinance for introduction, but was unsure if his support would extend to adoption of the ordinance. Van Soelen said he plans to talk to contractors because he is not sure whether the benefit outweighs the cost.

“I find it difficult to mandate what people choose to put in their homes,” Van Soelen said, “and I’m not sure the savings are substantial.”

Crowder concluded by saying the circulator pump would have a positive effect on conserving water in the city.

“We need to start the process now to stop the trend of wasting water,” Crowder said.