The Tank › Should an existing electric convert to a powervent natural gas › Reply To: Should an existing electric convert to a powervent natural gas
You said gas was cheaper. It is for most people. It would for me too on the normal rate. But in Asheville, NC I have RTOUD available
I heat off-peak only so have a 105 gallon electric (EF = 0.91). This makes it slightly cheaper than using natural gas with an EF = 0.56. Off-peak electricity is $0.0515/kWh including tax.
If recovery is an issue it can be solved by a larger tank, or increasing the thermostat setting and putting a mixing valve on the tank exit to prevent scalding, or replacing the lower thermostat with an upper thermostat and pulling a separate circuit to feed the new lower thermostat. This turns a 4500 watt WH into a 9,000 watt WH.
This site has far more people calling in with gas WH issues than issues with electric WHs. It is hard to estimate the maintenance cost over the life of a WH (which should be a long time if maintained IAW this site), but it must be included in the lifecycle cost.