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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Homeowners: Make sure your next home water heater comes with a $300 rebate

When your home water heater fails -- usually without warning and only a few weeks after the warranty expires -- make sure the replacement qualifies for a rebate from New Jersey's Clean Energy Program.



I have a love-hate relationship with my local Home Depot.

On the upside, I recently received a $300 rebate check from New Jersey's Clean Energy Program for an energy efficient gas water heater Home Depot installed in my basement last October.

Another advantage of buying the water heater at Home Depot is that I got 10% off the cost of the heater itself, and I was able to finance the purchase at zero-percent interest.

That means I'm paying for a 50-gallon heater with a gas power vent and installation over 2 years -- at an easy to swallow $95 a month -- instead of having to pay more than $2,200 at one time.

I am a member of Angie's List, and although I saw offers that appeared to be lower than at Home Depot, none of them included the extra-cost gas power vent or allowed me to pay over 2 years without interest.

Before you buy another water heater or other major component or appliance, check out New Jersey's Clean Energy Program website for rebate information and other incentives.

Zone valves in your home's hot-water heating system, above and below, are complicated and expensive to repair or replace. 
Based on my experience, avoid calling A.J. Perri, a plumbing, heating and cooling service based in Tinton, Falls, N.J.

Home Depot nightmare

The "hate" part of my relationship with Home Depot in Hackensack is rooted in my experience with A.J. Perri, the store's plumbing, heating and cooling service.

When I didn't have heat in one of the bedrooms in my house in December 2015, I called Home Depot, and an A.J. Perri repairman came over and replaced one of the zone valves in the basement.

The same repairman had to return twice more to work on the system -- that's three days in a row -- and the invoices he left don't fully describe what he did.

The total charges were $740.44, including taxes. 

When I got my Home Depot credit card account statement, I called A.J. Perri customer service, which reduced the bill to $440.44.

Later, I learned that PSE&G's Worry Free Protection Plan for a heating system can include free replacement of zone valves and other parts.

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