I purchased a gas water heater earlier this year. Can I claim the West Penn Power / UGI rebate? To be eligible for the West Penn Power and UGI rebate, a storage (tank style) natural gas water heater must be purchased and installed after January 13, 2011.
Are there any equipment specifications that must be followed to claim the $900 in rebates? The only requirement is that the new water heater must be an Energy Star gas fired water heater that replaces an electric water heater. The water heater must be storage (tank) style; tankless models do not qualify. There are no specific requirements regarding the size and manufacturer of the natural gas water heater.
If I upgrade my existing natural gas water heater to a higher efficiency do I qualify for the rebates from UGI and West Penn Power? No. West Penn Power and UGI are only offering the rebates for the conversion or replacement of a water heater from electric to a natural gas tank style water heater.
Where can I purchase a natural gas water heater? Natural gas water heaters are sold and installed by heating contractors, plumbers and home improvement stores.
Can I choose my own installer to replace my existing water heater with a gas water heater? Yes. You should choose a reputable plumber or HVAC company to install your new gas water heater. You may use the contractor of your choice.
Can I install a gas water heater myself? UGI recommends that you have a qualified plumber or heating contractor install a gas water heater. Many potential dangers can result from improper water heater installation. It is critical that the unit is vented properly and complies with all local codes. However, if you purchase a natural gas water heater and install it yourself, you are still eligible for the West Penn Power and UGI rebate offers as long as all eligibility requirements are met. If your receipts total less than $900, your rebate would be limited to the actual costs you incurred.
How big of an energy user is a water heater? After home heating and cooling, water heating is typically the largest energy user in the home because it is necessary for so many activities such as bathing, dishwashing and laundry. For this reason, it pays to choose your water heater carefully.
How much can I save with a natural gas water heater? If you qualify for the West Penn Power and UGI rebate programs, you’ll receive up to $900 in rebates on the cost of purchasing and installing a new gas water heater to replace your existing non-gas water heater.
In addition to equipment savings, you’ll realize monthly savings on hot water operating costs – also known as your utility bills! For example, current electric water heater customers of West Penn Power will save about $210 a year on electric bills when converting from electric to gas.
Where should I install my gas water heater? You should carefully review the current layout of your home with your installer to determine the best location for a gas water heater. In most cases, you’ll want to install it right where you had your former electric water heater. However, the location may need to be adjusted to move closer to a chimney, an outside wall, or the equipment where you’ll use the most hot water.
What if I don’t have a chimney for venting? You should consider either a direct-vent or a power-vented gas water heater. In both cases, the water heater requires access to an outside wall for venting. Your installer can help you decide the best location for proper ventilation.
What size water heater tank do I need? Your water heater should provide enough hot water at the busiest time of the day in your house. While tank sizes range from 20 to 80 gallons, the 40 gallon gas water heater is the most popular and is appropriate for most households. A 40 gallon gas water heater outperforms a 50 gallon electric water heater for hourly hot water delivery. So, natural gas water heaters can generally be downsized to a smaller tank when replacing an electric water heater since gas water heaters have about double the capacity to deliver hot water on an hourly basis.
How does an electric water heater produce carbon and other emissions? While using an electric hot water heater may not appear to produce any pollution, the manufacturing of electricity, in Pennsylvania, results in many emissions, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides and mercury. Did you know that approximately half of the electricity used in Pennsylvania is generated in coal burning power plants? Electric manufacturing has poor efficiencies with power plants that average about 35% in efficiency. When you use electricity for big energy uses such as water heating, you indirectly encourage the inefficient burning of more fossil fuel. On the other hand, the natural gas delivery system is very efficient with about 95% of the energy being retained from the well to your home.
Isn’t natural gas in short supply? No. In recent years new technology in drilling has made gas fields, such as the local Marcellus Share region, economically accessible. New drilling techniques and gas fields have increased the US natural gas resource base to about a 100-year supply. The Marcellus gas field, which covers parts of Pennsylvania, is estimated at a 20 to 25 year total US supply.
Is there extra maintenance on a gas water heater? A gas water heater requires minimal maintenance and should provide years of trouble-free operation. However, if you have hard water, your gas or electric water heater tank should be flushed at least once a year. This helps to control the buildup of mineral deposits. Households with hard water should consider the installation of a water softener. Regular flushing or a water softener will help your water heater operate more efficiently and will usually extend the life of the water heater.
Are there any safety considerations for a gas water heater? All fuel burning appliances need proper venting and airflow, so keep the area around your water heater clear. Never store trash or other flammable materials near your gas water heater. Finally, always sweep away from your gas appliance so that dust doesn’t get into the pilot or burners.
Questions about the West Penn Power Rebate should be directed to Watt Watchers at 1-877-928-8928.
Questions about the UGI Rebate should be directed to UGI at 1-888-852-6339 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Rebate offer limited to households receiving electric service from West Penn Power and natural gas service from UGI Central Penn Gas or UGI Penn Natural Gas.