Here are some tips to minimize energy losses caused by the heating of the water.
Insulate hot-water pipes, especially pipes that run through unheated areas. Use insulating tape or foam, plastic or fiberglass tubes which, when slit lengthwise, fit snugly around the pipe and can even be permanently glued.
Lower the temperature of the hot-water heater thermostat to 60°C (140°F). Set up flow restrictors and efficient showerheads to reduce hot water consumption. During an 11-minute shower, without a flow restrictor, you consume an average of 125 litres (27.4 gallons) of water. A flow restrictor can significantly reduce consumption to 77 litres (16.9 gallons), a saving of about 48 litres (10.6 gallons) per shower.
If you consider changing your hot-water heaters, ask your contractor about the energy efficiency of new appliances. For hot-water heaters, efficiency is usually expressed in terms of energy factor (EF). The higher the energy output rating, the more efficient the appliance is as the less energy it consumes. For example, you might choose a hot-water heater with an energy factor of 60 instead of 54.
Draining your water heater once a year will eliminate deposits at the bottom of the tank, thus decreasing the cost of equipment replacement and repairs, as well as energy consumption. It is not necessary to drain the entire tank, simply run the drainage water into a recipient until it is clear and free of all deposits.
To save even more, perhaps it's time to replace them by new high energy-efficient ones. Take advantage of grants available to upgrade your equipment.