Author Topic: Free water heater and smart thermostats  (Read 1224 times)

threefive

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Free water heater and smart thermostats
« on: February 15, 2017, 01:34:02 PM »
Hey, look. My first Share Your Badassity post! I just got my final rebate check, and I'm still in a little shock that this worked, but I managed to replace my dead electric water heater and get two smart thermostats, for the low cost of absolutely nothing!

My electrical company offers a bunch of rebates for energy efficient upgrades, including $400 for installing a heat pump water heater and $125 for each smart thermostat you install. If you do three or more within a 90 day period, they give you an additional $200 bonus.

My 20 year old water heater was near dead, so it had to be replaced anyway. I ordered a GE GeoSprings heat pump water heater from GPConservation with the MMM discount code, free shipping, and no sales tax for a total of $900. After checking to make sure they qualify, I found two Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostats on Amazon for $115 each. Total with tax came to a few bucks less than $250 for both.

Total cost: $1,150

I installed the water heater in December so that I could also get a $300 tax credit for 2016. Then, I bought and installed the thermostats in January. Each individual thermostat counted towards the bonus for three upgrades. This was actually surprising to me, since I was assuming the two thermostats only counted as one upgrade and I would need to do something else to get the bonus.

Rebates/credits:
$400 - water heater
$250 - thermostats
$200 - bonus
$300 - tax credit

Total money back: $1,150

Technically, my thermostats were $246. So I MADE $4. (I did have to spend another ~$75 for installation materials and permit for the water heater, but I was going to have to do that no matter what. The water heater was dead.)

Here is the best part. Two months of usage, and this heat pump water heater is the real deal. My electric bills have dropped at least $40 as a result of the water heater alone. EnergyStar comparison has a yearly operating cost of about $130 vs. the $600 cost for the old water heater, and in the mild south we've never taken it out of 100% heat-pump mode, which means we're beating the EnergyStar rating.

I've always been a pretty good weasel, but I was pretty impressed with myself for this "scam."

MasterStache

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Re: Free water heater and smart thermostats
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 01:52:43 PM »
Awesome work!! Our energy company offers rebates as well for energy efficiency. But they have a catch. It would have to be installed by one of their approved installation vendors.

threefive

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Re: Free water heater and smart thermostats
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 02:07:02 PM »
Awesome work!! Our energy company offers rebates as well for energy efficiency. But they have a catch. It would have to be installed by one of their approved installation vendors.

I lucked out. My energy company just changed their policy on that in late November for water heaters and thermostats. Everything else needs an approved contractor.

I heard about the thermostat rebate a few years ago when a friend thought they were scamming the energy company on a couple of Nests. They bought two Nests at $250 each from Lowes because the Lowes employee told them they could get the rebate. Of course, they find out later that they had to pay an approved contractor to install them for the rebate. Surprisingly, the cost for installation was exactly $125 each. Odd. And those Nests just plain suck for heat pumps.

I was originally going to get the water heater installed through one of their contractors in November (basically free installation w/ rebate), until I learned I would also have to buy the thing through them ($1400 vs. $900). Then I just decided to install it myself, since it would ultimately be a lot cheaper without the rebate, and I would break even from energy costs vs. a standard $400 tank in maybe 1.5-2 years. A few weeks later, I check and they've changed the program. No approved contractor required. Ka-ching.