There are Department of Energy regulations that are changing on April 16th and they may affect you. Water heaters will be more expensive, larger, and some models may no longer be available. If your water heater is more than 6 years old, you should consider replacing it before April 16th.
They are making water heaters more efficient which is great…The problem right now is for the manufacturers to make them more efficient, it is more expensive so prices are going up pretty dramatically. That is a big deal but the more important stuff is…the water heaters are going to get bigger.” Jack Hope, Hope Plumbing
Long term the efficiency is great but the short-term effect on consumers during the transition period will be at a costly. Prices are expected to rise as much at 33%. The larger sizes may not fit in the areas that many homeowners are currently using for their heater. The cost to relocate and use new venting will have to be met by the homeowner. If they have no other choice, homeowners may have to look at purchasing tankless water heaters which are great but also very costly.
Best Advice: Plan now.