Natural gas water heaters provide more hot water and cost less to operate than electric models. They have a faster recovery time, so the family rarely runs out of hot water. These units require no electricity to operate and continue to provide hot water when the power is out.
Electrical resistance heating is by nature expensive, whether using the resistance to heat to warm a home or water. Natural gas offers one of the least expensive types of heat. The difference in operational costs is large enough that it is less expensive to operate a larger natural gas water heater than a smaller electric one.
Manufacturers rate the size of a tank-style water heater on the number of gallons it holds. A typical 40-gallon electric water heater takes about 2 hours to recover once all the hot water is used. A gas water heater reduces the recovery time by 50 percent. Most families find the unit offers plenty of hot water, so everyone gets a warm shower.
For residents in areas where extended power outages are common, natural gas offers hot water even when the power is out. Most tank-style water heaters require no electricity to operate. Natural gas supplies come through a pipeline and maintain pressure even when the power lines are down.