Photography courtesy of Rheem.

Homeowners are attracted to the idea of saving money on energy usage costs, and will in fact pay a premium for a home with green features. Now, builders have another enticing option for a cost-and-energy-saving home product.

Heating and cooling equipment manufacturer Rheem introduces the new Prestige Series Hybrid Electric Water Heater, which can reduce standard energy usage by up to 73%. The product pays for itself in less than two years with the amount it saves on energy bills, which can total $4,000 in savings over 10 years of use.

“The average water heater accounts for almost 20% of a home’s total energy use, and it is a critical appliance for home builders and homeowners looking to construct energy efficient homes or retrofits,” said John Ballard, senior manager, residential new construction national accounts at Rheem.

The electric water heater exceeds ENERGY STAR requirements, featuring a 70-gallon First Hour Delivery, which delivers more hot water than most standard residential electric water heaters, and operating at a 3.50 Energy Factor, a whopping 268% higher Energy Factor than standard electric units.

The heater can also be connected to Rheem’s exclusive EcoNet® Smart Home System, allowing homeowners to integrate the machine with existing Nest thermostat or Wink home automation systems and control the device through a smartphone app. EcoNet monitors the system's performance and sends automatic alerts for service and maintenance. It also features a water leak detection alert and can be set to a number of operating modes such as ‘Vacation’ and ‘High Demand' for customized energy savings.

The duct-ready units are easy to install, can fit in smaller install locations, and do not require an adapter.