My questions: Should I save money partially executing the bid work myself (namely buying mats, some drywall, punch throughs), and am I getting a fair deal? The situation: We lost our electric water heater and want to take this opportunity to switch to gas. Our local gas company has a program where they tap the main and install the meter, finance the heater and the first 25' of gas and water piping, including labor. We're buying the RU80EN (retail $1104) and the program price is $1619. We're adding a gas dryer and fireplace hookup. The outdoor heater and fireplace will be within 2' and 5' respectively of the main, which is to be installed on the back wall of the fireplace. The dryer will be about 30' away. The water lines would be 25', reconnecting to the old heater lines, in proximity to the dryer. We got 5 bids from the list of approved installers. All bids were between $2700 to $3100 for piping and permit after the initial 25' mats and labor paid by the program. Call it $2900. There is a $675 rebate on the heater. I'm trying to figure out what the hidden costs to me are and where I can save. It feels like the gas company keeping the rebate, plus the mark up, PLUS the contractor bids, is too much. If I buy the unit: The RU80EN costs $1104.00 I get the $675 rebate I pay for the total install cost Even if I buy the piping and fittings retail, say $500, is that ballpark? Say I pay for 10 hours @ $150/hr = $1500 I pay $200 permit and $350 elec. Cost to me: $2979 If I go with the gas program: The RU80EN costs $1104.00 The gas company gets the rebate The gas company marks the heater up $515 for 25' of gas and water install I pay the remaining install of $2900 The gas company gets $1619 + $675, contractors get $2900 Total effective receivables: $5194 Am I missing $2215 of costs somewhere? Is the piping way more expensive? Is 10 hours labor not enough? I don't begrudge markups, but what am I missing? The bids were identical, but I don't get where the $2900 comes from if most of the punch through and pipe fitting labor and pipe length are covered by the program.