I am getting a new water heater (Bradford White RG2PV50T6N, which is gas powered). I was wondering if I could do anything easy to make it more energy efficient.
1) Would a jacket help conserve heat? Several documents I read said not to bother unless the tank feels warm to the touch. The tank I have now does not; I assume the new one won't either. Are the new ones so well insulated that a jacket is pointless?
2) I was considering adding a timer so that it would only heat water at the times I need it. But, again, some reading made it sound like it was pointless. If I understand correctly, the tank will heat new water as I use up the old water, and then should be insulated well enough to keep the water hot all day without expending any additional energy. It sounded like a timer is mostly useful to heat water during non-peak energy times--which doesn't apply in my case because I have a gas-powered tank.
Am I wrong? Would a jacket and/or timer be helpful? Or is the best energy savings just to turn the temperature down a few degrees?