Why Geothermal and Why Now?
Oct 05, 2016 02:26AM
Imagine that instead of purchasing heating fuel, a technology existed that would allow the harvesting of heat from property around the actual ground a home was built on—a heating and cooling system that would provide a reduction in energy costs and better reliability, all while tapping into a free and renewable energy source.
Further consider an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient heating and cooling option that offered a 30 percent federal tax credit for systems installed by the end of the year.
This opportunity currently exists in the form of geothermal technology. It’s a way to harvest solar heat by using a small amount of electricity to gather heat stored in the ground and move it into a home. In the summer, it uses this same heat transfer technology in reverse to provide cooling.
In addition to low maintenance, the systems are efficient and eco-friendly. Heat pumps create no carbon monoxide or other pollutants, and geothermal operating costs are only 20 percent of the cost of an electric or gas furnace. Although the installation price of a geothermal system can be considerably more than a standard air-forced system, the additional costs are returned in the energy savings within five to 10 years.
The U.S. Department of Energy, through the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, is helping consumers offset the investment in new geothermal heat pumps and take advantage of the environmental benefits and cost efficiencies. Keep in mind, the time to act is now—the 30 percent federal tax credit is set to expire on December 31.
“Arranging for a geothermal installation is a multi-step process that takes place over a few days to a week or so,” offers Mark Underhill, territory manager for WaterFurnace International, a leading manufacturer and distributor of geothermal and water source heating and cooling systems headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “With the end of the year approaching and the tax credit going away, you’re really going to want to be proactive.”
For more information on the federal tax credit, visit Energy.gov/Savings/Residential-Renewable-Energy-Tax-Credit.