It would be great if everyone could afford to invest in a new, more efficient ater heater. Since that is probably not the case, here are some quick steps you can take to cut your water heating costs.
1. Reduce the temperature. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120ºF. For every 10ºF reduction in temperature, you can save from 3% to 5% on your water heating costs.
2. Insulate your pipes. This simple DIY project can reduce heat loss when water is traveling through pipes. Here’s a how-to: http://energy.gov/energysaver/projects/savings-project-insulate-hot-water-pipes-energy-savings.
3. Use less water. Reconsider whether you need to wash clothes in hot water, remember that short showers use less water than baths do, and don’t run the dishwasher until you have a full load.