Pros: Works and US made
Cons: Will cool the basement more
Read about the new GE Hybrid technology on 11/17 (never knew that it was even in the works until now) and being in the Cincinnati area; was in a limited availability area and able to get this installed today 11/20.
It took 3 guys around 3 hours to install (this is new for them as well) and took more work than a regular water heater. The most difficult aspect was the intake and outlet pipe had to be reworked into an "L" shape so that there was room to allow the air filter to be removed. You definitely want to be experienced with soldering pipes etc if you were to do this yourself. Our house is older, so we also needed an 60A electrical line installed to replace the 2x20A we had in place (included in installation costs).
After government credit, this will come out to $1536 installed. Our other option was $750 for a standard 12 year warranty GE 50 gallon unit installed; so effectively a $800 premium for this more energy efficient model.
Unit looks really hi tech and the noise level is acceptable (probably similar to a regular 20" floor fan on low/medium - a washer or dryer is much louder in comparison).
Jury is still out on how much this will save over the long run and how reliable it is (I'm sure GE will bend over backwards if there are any teething issues with the new technology)
Not expecting to get the full advertised efficiency savings in Ohio over winter; but do expect to recoop the extra cost over the next few years & support US innovation and jobs in Lousiville/KY in the meantime.
For those needing a new water heater; this unit should be given serious consideration.
I may provide an update in a few months after we have some experience with it in use for some time. Very hard to give an accurate rating at this point in time...... (so far all is well)