Happy Earth Day!
Today marks the first day Maryland residents can take advantage of the Cash for Appliances program, known as the Maryland Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program .
There are three main pieces to the program – $100 for Energy Star Clothes Washers with a Modified Energy Factor of at least 2.0 and a Water Factor no greater than 6.0; a $50 rebate for Energy Star Refrigerators, at least 25% more efficient than the federal standard; and $300 for an Electric Heat Pump Water heater. You can work with your utility company to get the rebates.
Before you run out and buy an appliance, this rebate should not replace your breakeven analysis.
We replaced our ~30 year old A. O. Smith water heater about a month ago because it was leaking. We replaced it with a slightly more efficient electric water heater (gas is not available) that would save us a few hundred dollars a year in operating costs. At the time, we didn’t know when the Maryland Cash for Appliances program would start, many correctly guessed it would be around Earth Day, and we didn’t have the luxury of time.
I took a look at some heat pump electric water heaters and they were all priced around $1500 not including taxes and installation. The energy savings would be significant, about $500 over our old leaking water heater and a few hundred dollars over the new model. We estimated that it would take 5-6 years for the water heater to pay for itself, 4-5 if we were able to get the $300 rebate.
While we didn’t discuss it, my feeling was that 4-5 years is just outside the window of how long we intend to live in the home and with no clear sign that Cash for Appliances was near, we went with the more typical water heater. If we later decide that we’re going to be staying for a while, we can always replace our water heater with the heat pump because it would only push out the breakeven point by 2 years.
If your state is offering incentives like this, are you looking to replace a few older appliances?