Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Residents of Missoula City and County are now eligible to receive a $500 rebate for replacing the water heater in their homes with an energy-efficient heat pump water heater.

KGVO News spoke to Caroline Bean, Missoula County Climate Action Program Manager about the new program.

Get a $500 Rebate when Buying a Heat Pump Water Heater

“We're excited to launch a new rebate program for heat pump water heaters,” began Bean “We haven't been involved in water heaters in the past, but with the arrival of this new heat pump technology, there is the option to purchase super efficient water heaters that will use less energy, save residents money. We're hoping to encourage that by providing a $500 rebate for any Missoula County resident who purchases and installs a heat pump water heater until our funding runs out.”

Bean said the $500 rebate is meant to encourage Missoula County residents to make the decision to change out their older water heaters with certain energy-efficient models.

The County's Goal is for 100 Percent Clean Electricity

“From the county's perspective, we have several climate goals,” she said. “One of them is 100 percent clean electricity, and one of the ways we can reach 100 percent clean electricity is actually by using less electricity thereby using less energy. This is one way to move us closer to that goal and our other climate resiliency goals of having healthier, more efficient homes. The energy funds you spend in your home to heat your water can actually be around 25 to 30 percent of your utility bill from an electricity perspective, and this is a way to use a lot less electricity and save money on that monthly bill.”

Bean briefly described how a heat pump water heater works.

“This is an electric appliance,” she said. “Instead of needing to create the heat itself as an appliance, it takes the heat out of the air around it and uses that heat and transfers it to your water. Instead of having to do that extra step of actually creating the heat itself, it just transfers it and so it makes it a much more efficient process. The bottom line is that it's a lot more efficient, and it'll labor away the same way your water heater does right now, but with a little bit less environmental and economic impact.”

Click the Link to get Details on the Rebate Program

Bean described where Missoula city and county residents can get more details about the rebate program.

“For folks who want to see the products that qualify, you can go on to our website and we have a list from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency,” she said. “They have a directory of water heaters that are applicable. And the reason we use this list is that right now the federal government has a tax credit out for the same water heater, so up to 30 percent off of the purchase and installation cost. So, with our program, if you buy one of these qualifying products, you can get 30 percent off the top plus the $500 rebate that we're offering.”

Click here to get more details on the rebate program.

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