Supply House Times

Rinnai Introduces Leasing Programs For Tankless Water Heaters, Direct-Vent Furnaces

March 11, 2009
Under the 60-month leasing agreement, an appliance leasing firm would own the customer’s Rinnai unit and would pay all installation and maintenance costs, while the homeowner pays a low monthly fee for the duration of the contract.

Rinnai announced that its tankless water heaters and direct-vent wall furnaces are now more accessible to consumers thanks to the launch of the Rinnai leasing programs, which are designed to encourage the use of tankless or direct-vent heating technology among consumers that want to use this technology but may be reluctant to invest in new home appliances due to the current economic state.

“We are aware that some homeowners may not feel comfortable investing in the purchase and installation of a Rinnai tankless water heater or direct-vent wall furnace right now,” said Phil Weeks, general manager of Rinnai America Corp. “Our leasing programs enable consumers to experience the lifestyle benefits of Rinnai technology for as low as $45 per month, allowing a customer more financial flexibility.”

Appliance leasing firm AWHR will introduce the Rinnai tankless water heater and direct-vent wall furnace leasing programs to the U.S. market. The programs allow consumers to experience the benefits of Rinnai technology without the upfront costs associated with the purchase and installation of new appliances. Under the 60-month leasing agreement, AWHR would own the customer’s Rinnai unit and would pay all installation and maintenance costs, while the homeowner pays AWHR a low monthly fee for the duration of the contract.

The monthly cost to lease either Rinnai appliance is dependent on several factors, including the installation location and gas line. Therefore, a Rinnai authorized service provider or registered installer must conduct an installation inspection of the home before quoting the exact cost. At the end of the 60-month period, the homeowner may choose to continue his or her lease at a reduced rate or to purchase the Rinnai appliance. The lease is transferable should the homeowner decide to sell the home; however, the original customer must complete the payments remaining on the contract if the new property owner does not want to continue the lease.

Consumers interested in participating in the Rinnai leasing programs should call AWHR at 866/246-AWHR or visit www.AWHR.com to arrange for an installation inspection.

Federal Tax Credits

Consumers may save money on the purchase and installation of a Rinnai tankless unit with the applicable tax incentives outlined in the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which extends the existing tax credit for energy-efficient tankless water heaters through 2010 and increases it from $300 to 30 percent of the full purchase and installation price of the unit (up to a maximum of $1,500). According to the legislation, whole-home gas tankless water heaters must have an energy factor of at least 0.82 or greater, making the tax credit applicable to all Energy Star-qualified Rinnai tankless units.

In addition, the legislation stipulates that the tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements pertains only to existing homes that serve as a consumer’s primary residence. Unlike a tax deduction, which lowers an individual’s taxable income, a tax credit reduces the tax paid dollar-for-dollar and therefore generally is more valuable.

In order to claim the tax credit, consumers must purchase and install a qualifying Rinnai tankless water heater between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, saving the proof of purchase and a copy of the Rinnai Manufacturer’s Certification Statement. They should then simply file IRS Form 5695 with their 2009 or 2010 taxes. Consumers may consult a tax professional for further details or guidance.

Rinnai's Marketing Efforts

In support of the leasing programs and tax incentives, Rinnai is launching a marketing campaign to promote the accessibility of Rinnai technology and to educate consumers that Rinnai residential water heaters qualify for the federal tax credit. The campaign kicks off this week with national advertisements in USA Today and public relations outreach to major newspapers, consumer magazines and trade publications.

Subsequent communications will include the introduction of a dealer toolkit, which will provide Rinnai installers and distributors with co-op advertising materials, customer education pieces and PR templates geared toward local audiences.

For additional information about the Rinnai leasing programs, visit www.rinnai.us. For additional information about the federal tax credit, visit www.energystar.gov.