WNY, I'm thinking of all year usage. I usually don't fire her up during the warmer weather. So, how else can we knock off the hot water tank? With three kids, a beautiful wife that likes long showers, and me, all the baths, dishes, and laundry, and constantly cleaning up after them with hot water, the hot water tank eats up $120.00 + a month just in natural gas to heat all that water. It seems that the 50 gallon hot water tank is rarely not firing up. But we always have just barely enough hot water at any one time to do the job. But, it's been handling the load. I'm trying to get a plan ready for a summer project. I wonder how much more efficient burning coal or wood would be compared to the natural gas. Any thoughts?