First a little background, two things. I'm married to a Russian wife, which means hot water for showers are mandatory to keep the wife happy (only mostly kidding, we've been through tough times together and that's not why she loves me). Also, I've only ever known electric water heaters. One day 2 years ago, the thermostat fortuitously went out on our electric water heater and we resorted to only turning it on at the breaker. I was busy with my day job. Our electric bill went WAY down, like 30-40% !!! I knew they cost money but that drove the point home.
Now, we have natural gas which goes to a brand new HVAC unit, so that heating is done by gas. A 50 gal gas water heater looks to be about 300-400.00 more expensive if it has a WiFi module. My specific question is whether or not, or when, the cost-benefit of using WiFi to completely shut the water heater down at night and when we're away will/would make the WiFi worth it. If you have numbers from actual experience that would be great!
PS I'm disinclined to install tankless water heaters - it's an old house, I know as I've worked on it.