Across the country, schools retrofitting to geothermal systems are saving a combined estimated $25 million in energy costs. These schools also prevent half a billion pounds of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.
GHP installations in
the United States have
75% more energy.
Geothermal heat pumps—a heating and cooling technology that harvests renewable energy from the ground—efficiently and significantly reduce the energy consumption of buildings. Yet, because they incorporate a relatively young technology and have higher installation costs than less efficient equipment, they claim less than 2% of the U.S. heating and air conditioning market.
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-California, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced HR 2412, the New Energy for America Act, which extends Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) for energy-efficient residential and commercial properties for five years beyond their current sunset date of Dec. 31, 2016.
Starting in 2008...
what happened next?
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to do the math
There are 85,000 GHPs installed annually across the United States, at an average 3 tons capacity each, for a total of 255,000 tons of new GHP capacity every year.
Should all of the nation’s schools convert to geothermal, the EPA has estimated that we could reduce oil imports by 61 million barrels annually, and provide the same environmental benefits as planting 8 million acres of trees or converting nearly 4 million cars to zero-emission vehicles.
are an efficient
heating and cooling technology.
Although this is a very small percentage of the total HVAC market, the number of people who are choosing to install geothermal is growing rapidly as more learn about the technology.
Compared to conventional HVAC equipment, GHPs can save up to
How many cars would that take
off our nation’s highways annually?
A recent U.S. Department of Energy study showed that 75% of the average home’s energy needs can be met with the earth’s stored thermal energy.
Average residential GHP system installation cost is currently $20,000, depending on building size, heating and cooling load, drilling costs and other factors. At the current installation rate of 85,000 units annually, and with an average cost of $20,000 to install, GHPs are a $1.7 billion/year industry in the U.S. The Geothermal Exchange Organization estimates a total of 1.5 million GHP units are installed in the U.S.
According to data supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Geothermal Technologies...
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the ITC helped the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry survive the Great Recession. As the economy and construction industry slowly recover, HR 2412 would extend ITC credits for several clean energy technologies, including geothermal heating and cooling systems, solar, fuel cells, microturbines, combined heat and power (CHP), and small wind.
Thompson’s bill addresses this by extending residential and commercial ITCs for an additional five years, the point at which many believe the GHP industry will be strong enough to regain the growth it enjoyed before the economic downturn.
There are more than one million installations in the United States today.
in the past decade.
of all U.S. emissions of carbon
dioxide (CO2) are the result of using energy to heat, cool and provide hot water for buildings. This is about the same amount of CO2 contributed
by the transportation sector.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), schools are a particularly attractive place for the use of this technology.
GHP installations displace the equivalent of
1,242,528 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
That’s like taking nearly 220,000 passenger
cars off our nation’s highways annually.