Home Depot Touts Crappy GE SmartWater Boiler As “High Efficiency”

Home Depot markets the GE SmartWater water heaters as “high efficiency.” But when you read the government energy guide on the side, it turns out the boiler is inefficient for its class.

When questioned why they chose to market it this way, a Home Depot rep said the heater was considered “high efficiency” because, “it’s the highest efficiency Home Depot sells.”

Don’t believe the hype! Check the energy guide on the side before purchasing boilers and other large appliances. — BEN POPKEN

Home Depot’s hot air [Stay Free!]


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  1. Malaclypse says:

    That’s a pretty brilliant marketing tactic! McDonalds can label their big macs as “low fat, low calorie” so long as they get rid of anything on their menu that’s more healthy than it.

  2. jacques says:

    Uhh…I bought one from HD that was at 254 that was “high efficiency”. Mostly because my last one blew up, leaving my house saoking, and I was trying to get one installed immediately while the insurance folks were still around.

  3. thrillhouse says:

    While I do not agree with HD’s marketing BS, you also have to put those EnergyGuides into perspective. They are very helpful, and I always read them, but you have to understand what you are reading.

    The range they show for gas water heaters is 238 – 272. Thats a spread of 38 therms/year. Not huge, not even 20% diff. If fact, I wouldn’t necessarily call any of them wastefull. Other appliance ranges can double or triple energy usage.

  4. FLConsumer says:

    With most appliances, there are no “low efficiency” models. Just try to but a standard/low efficiency air conditioner and you’ll see that everyone slaps a “high efficiency” label on their product, regardless of power consumption. In some ways, they’re not incorrect. Just about every one of these appliances will use less power than anything made 10 years ago.

  5. Charles Star says:

    A 20% reduction in energy usage seems pretty significant to me. If all appliances were 20% more efficient we’d make Al Gore very, very happy. (And a 20% reduction in my heating bills wouldn’t hurt either.)

  6. aka Cat says:

    Notice the weasel-wording of the ad — they never actual say that the GE model shown is high efficiency.

    The ad starts out recommending that you buy high efficiency , then says Also, we carry this nifty water heater that has a really great warranty!

    It’s all in one paragraph, so you’ll assume that the heater they’re touting is high efficiency. But it’s two separate thoughts.

  7. lpranal says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but what if this is just a super heavy-duty water heater… how many BTU’s are we talking? It could be very efficient indeed, but if it’s of very large capacity and intended for a duplex / large home, it would still use a lot of gas to keep half a dozen people pink and stewed every morning.

    I mean, with gas prices the way they are, and energy guide labels plastered over every model in the showroom, could they really afford to make a model that’s not energy efficient?