The 7 Wins of Pro Geothermal Heat Pump Legislation September 10 2015


Legislation supporting the growth of geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems will create multiple wins for New York State, its geothermal industry and customers, as well as New Yorkers in general.

  1. It will make GHP systems more affordable and thus more economically attractive to all. Since geothermal heating and cooling is more efficient than conventional (oil, natural gas, propane and electric) systems, it uses less energy.

  2. As more residential and commercial property owners install geothermal heat pumps not only will their overall energy bills decrease, but so will the summer peak load demand on our electric grid. Peak demand is a major factor in setting and driving up electric rates.

  3. Although overall electricity consumption will increase, it will occur in the winter. Reducing peak demand in summer and adding to the electric load in winter (when its usage is otherwise low) increases the overall utilization of power plants. This evening-out of use can help to reduce electricity costs for all ratepayers in New York State.

    The New York State Department of Public Service estimates that each 1% improvement in system efficiency (i.e. annual power plant capacity utilization) will yield from $221 to $330 million in annual savings to ratepayers across the state. This is due to lower supply and delivery investment needs.

  4. As similar legislation has aided the solar industry in creating thousands of jobs in our state, this same strategy will allow the burgeoning New York State GHP industry to become both more competitively priced and profitable. This sets up a positive feedback loop making it easier for more residential and commercial property owners to switch.

  5. It will provide more well-paying jobs—that cannot be outsourced—to help grow our economy. Occupations such as geothermal designers and engineers, installers, drillers and excavators, service providers, equipment distributors and manufacturers will be in greater demand.

  6. At the same time, this technology’s many benefits will help New York State meet its renewable energy and energy efficiency goals (“80 by 50”) as outlined in the 2015 New York Energy Plan and the Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative.

  7. The final winner will be New York State’s environment. As more consumers convert to non-combustion heating, smoke, particulate matter and greenhouse gases—which are implicated in climate change—will decrease. Cleaner air helps our most vulnerable residents—young children, the elderly and anyone with a respiratory condition—to breathe easier. And everyone benefits when climate change is abated.

Heat without fire. Cool with the ground.

©2015 Billii Roberti. Used with permission.