This is my first post.

First, thanks a lot for putting up this forum. After reading some of the posts and expert opinions, it looks to me that BW is top model to consider, followed by Rheem, A O Smith, GE etc. And yes, no to Whirlpool (I came very close to buying it when I saw the price in Lowes). I'm glad that I found this forum.

So here is my dilemma. I'm replacing my 16 year old A O Smith with a 40 gallon heater. After reading few posts on this forum & consulting few plumbers, I have pretty much shortlisted Bradford White & Rheem. Based on the availability & installation price, it comes down to the following two models:

Bradford White: M-I-40T6FBN Spec Sheet
Rheem: RHG PRO40-40F Spec Sheet

Both of the above models look good as far as the specs are concerned. The only major differences are:

1. Energy Factor (EF)
The BW model has an energy factor (EF) of 0.59 whereas the RHEEM has an EF of 0.62. Now, I get a rebate from XCEL Energy if the water heater has EF of 0.62 ($80), 0.65($120), 0.67($160). (For information on the rebate, click here). So in my case, I get another $80 saving if I go with Rheem.

2. Warranty
BW offers 6 year warranty whereas Rheem offers 8 year warranty.

So if I go with Rheem, I get a better EF, a $80 rebate & an additional 2 year warranty. Is that worth enough to consider Rheem over BW?

I would sincerely appreciate your responses.

Thanks in advance
Ash