Speaking in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he was touring a manufacturer of geothermal heating pumps (GHPs) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced nearly $50 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to advance the commercial deployment of this proven energy efficiency technology.
Geothermal Heat Pumps, which are also known as ground sourced heat pumps use the thermal stability that exists below the Earth’s surface to move – or pump — heat either into or away from a home or other kind of building. GHPs are a proven technology, with an existing installed base of 600,000 units across the nation that has the potential to help create hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs in every area of the country while improving our nation’s energy efficiency and reducing our dependency on and use of fossil fuels.
“The heat from the Earth represents a significant energy resource that can be tapped to reduce emissions contributing to climate change.” said Secretary Chu. “Expanded use of GHPs in the United States will create new jobs for engineers, manufacturers and technicians while at the same broadening our nation’s clean and renewable energy portfolio.”
GHPs are more efficient than the air-source heat pumps more commonly found in commercial and residential applications today. Energy Star rated GHPs are more than 30% more efficient. They can substantially reduce building-related electricity demand while providing lower utility bills and lower maintenance costs to users.
For a detailed article explaining this technology and its potential see our post: Geothermal Heat Pumps: Good for the Bottom Line, Good for the Nation and Good for the Earth
DOE today is announcing opportunities for geothermal heat pump projects in three areas
Innovative Technology Demonstrations – Cost-shared technology demonstration projects that retrofit/incorporate a minimum of 50 tons of heating and cooling capacity and can be deployed in various geological conditions and climate zones in either residential communities or commercial buildings. Selected projects will incorporate innovative business and financing strategies, and focus on technological improves to speed marketplace deployment.
Life Cycle Cost Tools – Projects that will assist in determining project feasibility by gathering and analyzing data related to system costs, performance, and installation techniques which will help decrease life-cycle cost applications for GHPs.
National Certification and Accreditation – A national certification and accreditation program for the GHP industry designed to increase consumer confidence in the
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