Lowering the temp on a water heater
I'm splurging on new appliances: and I appreciate the past input on this stuff!... so about the water heater...
I just came home with a new water heater to replace my 17 yr old water heater. I paid a bit more because this one comes with more insulation and it has some interesting little electronics that can be adjusted for maximum economy.
If I set the temperature very low...does this really save energy? I mean, if the water isn't nice and hot, I will be forced to adjust my shower so that I am pumping *more* of the hot water into the mix just to bring the temp up to a tolerable level.
So, even though I have the water heater set to a low temp, I will be using more of that "hot" water during the shower (and less cold water). Therefore, the heater is going to have replace that huge loss of hot water by re-heating a new batch of cold.
Does it truly make a difference in energy usage to set it real low? Is 115 degrees F. the optimum temp? or is lower *always* the best choice?