EDGE Geo Blog

Optional Loop Financing

See the article below by Mark Stimson of Bosch. 
You can find the full article HERE.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark StimsonMARK STIMSON

Mark Stimson is the Business Development Manager at Bosch Thermotechnology Corporation, 
manufacturer of cooling and heating systems including tankless, point-of-use and electric water
heaters, floor-standing and wall-hung boilers, and Bosch and FHP geothermal heat pump systems.

 

BUILDER

NEW FINANCING OPTIONS HELP MAKE GEOTHERMAL AFFORDABLE

Three new kinds of partnerships give builders more options for financing and installing geothermal technology.

In the summer, a geothermal system absorbs heat from the home and transfers it to underground loops. Cool water returning from the ground brings cool, dehumidified air conditioning to the home.
In the summer, a geothermal system absorbs heat from the home and transfers it to underground loops. Cool water returning from the ground brings cool, dehumidified air conditioning to the home.

Green is hot, at least as far as residential building is concerned. A 2016 study from Booz Allen Hamilton for the United States Green Building Council found that green building construction growth currently outpaces general construction and will continue to do so through 2018, with LEED residential at a year-over-year growth of 31.1 percent from 2015 to 2018.

A growing number of residential builders aiming to build green are looking more closely at geothermal heat pump systems, a technology that uses the earth’s thermal properties in conjunction with electricity as an alternative to traditional HVAC and water heating systems. The technology lowers water, sewer and energy costs over time as well as reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Carrier Closes Indiana Facilities (moving to Mexico)

From SNIPS Magazine.

Carrier Corp. will close two Indiana plants, moving production to Mexico.

The HVAC construction equipment manufacturer announced Wednesday
that its facility in Indianapolis and parent company United Technologies Corp’s
Huntington, Indiana, plant will close by 2020. The moves will cost 2,100 workers their jobs.

Chris Nelson, Carrier’s North American president of HVAC systems and services,
said the current HVAC market made the relocation necessary.

Full Article HERE

Geothermal Friends & Family

In conjunction with our manufacturing partner Enertech Global, we are offering an exciting incentive for
customers of our GeoComfort and Hydron-Module dealers.

The Geothermal Friends and Family program is an exciting referral program that benefits anyone who
currently has a geothermal system installed, no matter the brand!

Announcing the All-New 2016 Geothermal Friends & Family Referral Program!

The Geothermal Friends & Family (GF&F) referral campaign gives GeoComfort dealers an
opportunity to tap into their existing geothermal customers to generate incremental sales.

The program offers a monetary reward ($100) to existing geothermal homeowners (regardless
of what brand system they currently own, even non-Enertech brands!) who refer their friends and
family to a GeoComfort geothermal system. In exchange, the friend or family member gets a rebate
($400) for their GeoComfort geothermal system purchase. 

We believe this GF&F program will be most successful by targeting existing customers. After all,
these homeowners are already familiar with the contractor and already own a geothermal system.
They’re often the best sales tool and your biggest advocates. 

Contact Tim @ tim@edgegeo.com or Tony @ tc@edgegeo.com for more details.

You can send your customer directly to the Friends and Family Link

 

 

Geo Systems in Europe

I spent a number of years working in and out of Europe, I actually lived there for a short time
and became very familiar with the geothermal heat pump market in the UK and EU.
The article below is a fair representation of their residential market.
The biggest variance from North America is that the vast majority of their systems are not forced air.

Upgrading your home heating system

Bozzuto Homes includes Geothermal Standard

Bozzuto Homes in Maryland is offering Bosch SM Geothermal Heat PUmps and Bosch tankless water heaters standard on their Maple Lawn Community in Fulton, MD.

Click for the full article by Jennifer Goodman. Bozzuto Offers Geothermal Standard

 

Bozzuto Offers Geothermal Standard

The production builder’s new Maryland community will
provide homeowners with utility savings of up to 70%.

Bozzuto Homes recently unveiled its Sage at Maple Lawn community, the first East Coast
development that includes geothermal heating and cooling as a standard feature.

Each home in the Fulton, Md., community will come standard with a Bosch SM Model geothermal
heat pump that will help homeowners save up to 70% on utility bills over conventional HVAC systems,
says Bozzuto. A Bosch tankless water heater will also be standard. The project, which will include
200 to 300 homes at buildout, is now under construction. 

 

Enertech expands VS/VT Product Family

Enertech is excited to announce 7 new models of the GeoComfort Compact Vertical Packaged unit
as part of our growing family of geothermal products. The release includes both single and two-stage
models available in a variety of residential and commercial voltages.


 
VS/VT models debuted in late 2014 with the release of 1-1/2 through 3-ton capacities. The units
feature an all-aluminum microchannel air coil, elastomeric compressor isolation technology, foam
enclosed enhanced surface coaxial heat exchanger, plus a hinged control box – all contained inside
a cabinet with a small footprint. In the 2015, these GeoComfort models were awarded Bronze in the
Dealer Design Awards from The NEWS.
 
This release covers 3-1/2 ton, 4-ton, 5-ton, and 6-ton sizes. Available voltages are: 208/230V, 60Hz,
1Ph; 208/230V, 60Hz, 3Ph; 460V, 60Hz, 3Ph; 575V, 60Hz, 3Ph; 265V, 60Hz, 1Ph.
 
Single stage models have a standard PSC blower motor and optional ECM, while two-stage
models have a standard ECM blower motor. Please note that VS060 model with PSC blower
motor, plus VS072 model with PSC and ECM blower motor are NOT ENERGY STAR qualified
models. These units are NOT eligible for tax credits.
Enertech recommends VS060 with ECM
motor and/or VT060 and VT072 models in order to claim the US tax credit.

 
Units are available to order now, with standard 2-week lead-time.
Please contact Customer Service to order, or talk to your Sales Manager for more details.
Price books have been updated with these new models.

 

 

IBS 2016

I'll be in Las Vegas next week attending the 2016 International Builders Show.

2016 - Once again IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 
will co-locate to create 
Design & Construction Week® - expected to draw more than
75,000 specifiers, builders, dealers, and suppliers and 2,000 exhibiting brands.

2016 Schedule

 

Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada
January 19-21, 2016
Tuesday-Thursday

 

Most of the time, you'll find me at the Enertech Global booth, which is booth #2653.
I'll be working the booth from 1pm to 5pm on Wednesday the 20th and 9am to 5pm on Thursday the 21st.

IBS Floor Shot

Stop by and see me or send me a tweet @tcooper4653 or @theEDGEgeo .

 

Efficiency Boost by Reed Karaim

Electric cooperatives, with their focus on affordable power, have subscribed to that adage for decades. But if the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan survives legal challenges, this history of efficiency could gain renewed importance as power providers work to drastically cut carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fueled plants.

“The Clean Power Plan gives some flexibility to the states on how they meet emissions requirements,” says Brian Sloboda, a senior program manager with NRECA Business and Technology Strategies (BTS). “States that choose energy efficiency as one of their compliance tools could see a big boost in programs aimed a demand-side management, which is right in the wheelhouse of electric co-ops.”

An NRECA survey found that 82 percent of generation and transmission (G&T) and distribution co-ops already have an energy-savings program. Nationally, cooperatives have 10 percent of peak retail electricity sales but are responsible for 20 percent of peak reduction, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The value of energy efficiency has led to its moniker as “the fifth fuel,” on par with coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables as a resource for meeting power demand.

Electric cooperatives are promoting energy-efficient products through rebate programs and education campaigns. They’re helping to finance geothermal heat pumps that dramatically reduce energy use and cut consumer power bills. They are working to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of lower-income members, and providing commercial and industrial members with support for sophisticated energy-management systems.

“Co-ops have been engaged in promoting and utilizing energy efficiency and demand response for decades. It’s part of what we do,” says Alan Shedd, Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives principal for resident and commercial energy.

In addition, NRECA is working with coops to research the potential for more efficient operations and energy savings at every step of the power delivery chain. “All the way from mining the coal to beyond the socket,” says Mike Casper, NRECA BTS senior manager for generation and fuels. The effort is intended to provide an array of technological options that electric co-ops and statewide associations can consider as they work with their state regulatory agencies to develop initial submittals under the Clean Power Plan.

There’s even more ahead. Nearly three-fourths of electric co-ops say they are planning to expand their existing efficiency programs in the next two years, according to NRECA research.

Everybody Wins

A crew installs a geothermal heat pump
A crew installs a geothermal heat pump at a home in Western Farmers Electric’s service area. (Photo courtesy Western Farmers Electric)

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, a G&T based in Anadarko, Okla., that serves 22 distribution co-ops in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas, is one of several G&Ts working with its member co-ops to take energy efficiency to a new level.

Western Farmers and its member co-ops have long had a summer “beat the peak” energy-reduction program in which the co-ops use a variety of means to cut peak demand. But the G&T still faces the need to build additional generation to meet growing demand, especially from the oil and gas industry.

With that in mind, Western Farmers is expanding its efforts to help consumers use power more efficiently. “Our CEO said, let’s structure our energy efficiency program to see if we can knock 30 megawatts out of the plant we’re going to be building,” says Mark Faulkenberry, Western Farmers’ senior manager, member relations.

Doing so would save the G&T an estimated $50 million in construction costs by building less generation, Faulkenberry says, “and we could use the decrease of the energy as part of our carbon-reduction effort.”

A pilot project conducted with the assistance of BTS showed ground-source heat pumps could provide big energy savings for consumer-members across Western Farmers’ territory while reducing on-peak capacity requirements by as much as 2.2 kW for a typical home. But the geo-loops, which use buried water-filled tubes to transfer heat to or from the ground, have upfront installation costs that would dissuade most consumers from making the change. They’d also mean the G&T’s member co-ops would be selling less electricity, impacting their bottom line.

The solution Western Farmers settled on was to lower the cost of ground-source heat pumps by providing assistance to its distribution co-ops to install and own the geo-loop systems. Falkenberry says selling “thermal energy services” is not unlike the typical co-op model of running lines and poles to sell kilowatt-hours, only in this case they’re running ground loops to sell heating and cooling. “Rather than metering the energy and selling it per unit, the co-ops have a fixed monthly charge based on the capacity of the loop.

“The beauty of this is everybody wins,” he adds. Western Farmers gets the long-term benefits it hoped for; participating consumers see significant savings in their power bills; and the local co-op sees a reduction in its wholesale power costs while also expanding its business model into geothermal.

Caddo Electric Cooperative is the leading distribution partner in the Western Farmers effort. Since November 2012, the Binger, Okla.-based co-op has installed 330 coop- owned geothermal loop systems, and the program is growing steadily, says Boyd Lee, the co-op’s director of marketing.

Under the program, the co-op will install a geothermal system with no upfront loop cost to the consumer, Lee says. “Our goal was to make geothermal the wisest choice there is on our system.” The cooperative has an installation fee built into the customer charge, which appears on the member’s monthly bill. But even with the fee, Lee notes, the geo-energy rate is lower than the co-op’s standard rate.

A technician from Western Farmers installs a geothermal HVAC unit.
A technician from Western Farmers installs a geothermal HVAC unit. (Photo courtesy Western Farmers Electric)

The geothermal system also comes with another advantage. “It really goes far in improving our system load factor over time,” Lee says.

Like most co-ops, Caddo Electric is heavily residential with a seasonal load factor that has a heavy peak in summer when air-conditioning units turn on across the South. But consumers who ordinarily heat their houses with natural gas in the winter are now using electric geothermal systems.

“We not only reduce the kilowatt demand of our summer peaks, but we add to the kilowatt sales in the winter season,” Lee says. “We can definitely see the impact on our bottom line.”

The shift away from gas heating to geothermal electrical is an example of “environmentally beneficial electricity.” It’s a concept that could play an important role in the drive to cut carbon dioxide emissions by burning fewer fossil fuels, according to Keith Dennis, NRECA BTS senior principal for end-use solutions and standards. 

Smart Energy Use

The idea is that as the grid adds more renewable energy and both power generation and end-use become more efficient, it makes more sense to use electricity to power a greater share of our modern lifestyle.

“On the consumer side, you have very efficient electrical appliances, and on the generation side, you have more efficient and cleaner generation,” Dennis says. “So you’ve got these things working together, and it makes sense to use electricity for more end-uses. It’s environmentally friendly.”

Energy Efficient Water Heaters
Grid-controllable water heaters can help manage demand and shave peak load.

Dennis cites electric vehicles and heat pump heating and cooling systems as electrically powered options that are better than their fossil-fueled alternatives. “Heat pump technology, for example, is 200 to 300 percent efficient or more,” he says.

Promoting smart energy use also means making sure utilities can use the best options to help the grid operate efficiently, which was a priority earlier this year when NRECA worked to get legislation passed that allowed the continued use of controllable, large-capacity water heaters to manage demand and shave peak load.

The successful effort was also an example of the way utilities are working with a range of other interested groups on energy efficiency. “We worked with environmental advocates and manufacturers to get the water heater legislation passed,” Dennis says. “We’ve also been working with a multi-stakeholder group on manufactured housing, which is a place where boosting energy efficiency can really help to improve the situation for co-ops and the quality of life for our members.”

Manufactured Homes

East Kentucky Power Cooperative, a G&T based in Winchester, Ky., that serves 16 member co-ops in the central and eastern part of the state, has been a leader in the effort to boost the energy efficiency of manufactured homes. The cooperative is working with the Systems Building Research Alliance, the research arm of the manufactured homes industry, and with Clayton Homes, the largest manufactured home builder in the nation, to improve the efficiency of these units in East Kentucky Power service areas.

The G&T has reached an agreement with manufacturers so that any order for a new manufactured home on the lines of its member co-ops is flagged, and the home is automatically upgraded to ENERGY STAR standards. “Our system pays for that upgrade,” says Scott Drake, East Kentucky Power’s manager of corporate technical services. “The member gets an ENERGY STAR-certified home with a heat pump without additional expense in almost all cases.”

Energy efficient manufactured homes.
East Kentucky Power Cooperative has been a leader in efforts to boost energy efficiency in manufactured homes. (Photo courtesy East Kentucky Power Cooperative)

The cost is about $1,750 to upgrade the shell of the house and add a heat pump to meet the higher standard, he says, but the savings to the member can be significant. “The electric bill hasn’t been over $60 a month for the first member who participated,” Drake says.

“We have a large percentage of our distribution co-ops’ membership that live in manufactured homes, and that’s where a disproportionate amount of our complaints about high bills come from,” he notes. “We want to make sure those members are comfortable and as energy efficient as possible.”

The benefits to East Kentucky Power and its member cooperatives include higher member satisfaction and a better demand profile with less-severe hot weather peaks. The manufactured home program is only one of several the G&T has developed in collaboration with its member coops to encourage energy efficiency, including rebates for ENERGY STAR appliances.

To track the difference the overall effort is making for consumers, East Kentucky Power has turned to a sophisticated cloud-based software system that provides a comprehensive view of their energy efficiency programs. “With the click of a button, we know exactly how many kilowatt-hours we saved in any program, or all programs, or how much money we’ve spent. It tracks everything we do with energy efficiency,” Drake says.

The system, Direct Technologies’ Energy Efficiency Collaboration Platform, also makes it easier for consumers to apply for ENERGY STAR rebates, he adds. They can input information online, take a photo of their receipt, and submit it over the Internet on their own time without ever having to call the co-op directly.

This All Comes Naturally

Evolved distribution network technology
Within a CRN-sponsored program, GridBridge and Brunswick EMC collaborated to deploy technology enabling an evolved distribution network. (Photo courtesy GridBridge, Inc.)

On the generation side, NRECA’s Casper says, “co-op power plants are pretty darn efficient already, so there’s not a lot of room for improvement.”

But to help co-ops meet Clean Power Plan requirements, NRECA is reviewing technology options that include greater use of coal-bed methane as fuel, advanced coal-drying techniques that help producers burn less coal, and condensing heat exchangers or other system upgrades that boost the heat-rate (the amount of energy required to create one kilowatt-hour) in coal-fired plants.

Other possibilities include maximizing utility-scale solar and wind generation or adding biomass, such as sawdust, to the fuel mix for existing coal-burning facilities to reduce the overall carbon dioxide content.

For transmission, improvements could include installing smart modules along lines to enhance power flow from renewable generation on congested systems. Another option is increasing battery storage at the end of the line, which could make better use of generation sources like wind that are active at night when transmission lines are often half-loaded. Batteries and other energy storage systems could be charged during off-peak periods with wind energy and used during peak loads, offsetting fossil-fuel generation.

On the member’s side of the meter, promoting smart appliances, LED and CFL lighting and, for industrial and commercial users, smart building energy management systems can result in significant improvements in efficiency, NRECA’s Sloboda says.

And while deploying programs, given all the options, may seem like a daunting prospect, these efforts are part of co-ops’ commitment to the best interests of their members, which has existed from the start, Sloboda adds.

“This all comes naturally to our people.”

Brunswick EMC and GridBridge collaborated to improve the North Carolina co-ops distribution network efficiency. (Photo courtesy GridBridge, Inc.)
Brunswick EMC and GridBridge collaborated to improve the North Carolina co-op’s distribution network efficiency. (Photo courtesy GridBridge, Inc.)

 

2016: The Year to Consider Geothermal; Brett Curry, AECC

I'm doing a guest post from Brett Curry, residential energy marketing manager from Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC).
Brett does a great job with a few conversion comparisons for geo conversion in the Arkansas market.

2016: The year to consider geothermal

bret curry

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s celebration! Speaking of celebrating, let us rejoice the near-normal temperatures as we move into the winter season. And if you haven’t noticed, the dollar amount we have invested to heat our homes so far this winter is down approximately 40 percent versus last year. As a reminder, our two previous winter seasons dealt us below-normal temperatures, above-normal frozen precipitation, drove up our heating costs and lasted well into springtime. Let’s hope the frigid polar vortices remain well to our north this winter season.

This year is an important year if you are thinking about installing a geothermal heating and cooling system into a new home or replacing your existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. This ultra energy-efficient ground source heat pump technology qualifies for a renewable energy tax credit that expires on Dec. 31. Taxpayers may claim a 30-percent tax credit for equipment and installation expenditures. Visit this U.S. Department of Energy website for complete details:http://energy.gov/savings/residential-renewable-energy-tax-credit.

As a reminder, the equipment and installation cost for geothermal is higher than air-source heat pumps, and smartenergytipsgeothermalgraphic1natural gas or propane furnaces. But the annual operating cost for geothermal is significantly lower than conventional systems because its operating efficiency is much higher. Most equipment manufacturers have an online savings calculator for cost comparisons. Their calculators include many important database factors such as zip codes for historic weather data, heating and cooling degree days, climate zones, natural gas prices, kilowatt-hour rates, etc.

Following is an operating cost and equipment comparison example. Please keep in mind these are estimated figures. If you are leaning toward making the switch, I recommend that you have a qualified HVAC expert run a similar comparison plus the actual heating/cooling load requirements and return-on-investment calculations. My figures do not include any financing costs.

I have calculated numbers for three homes with different HVAC systems. Each have the same zip code from a south-central U.S. city. They are each 20 years old and 2,000 square feet in size. Here are the annual average operational cost savings estimates if converted to a geothermal system:

 Conversion of a home with natural gas – $1,257 annual savings (water heater savings – $66, cooling savings – $505, heating savings – $685)

• Conversion of a home with electric air-source heat pump – $1,144 annual savings (water heating savings – $247, cooling savings – $507, heating savings – $389)

• Conversion of a home with propane – $1,813 annual savings (water heating savings – $243, cooling savings – $775, heating savings – $795)

Now, let’s look at the estimated equipment and installation costs for new, energy-efficient natural gas, air-source heat pump and geothermal HVAC systems. I’ll use 3-ton systems for this example:

• 17-SEER AC with 95 percent natural gas condensing unit – $8,500

• 17-SEER AC with HSPF 9 electric air-source heat pump – $8,500

• Geothermal (with domestic hot water feature) – $19,000

Next, subtract the geothermal tax credit, which is $5,700 ($19,000 X .30), from the initial geothermal cost, which leaves a final project cost of $13,300.

Now, let’s compare the traditional units with geothermal. Subtract $8,500 (cost for high-efficiency gas and air-to-air heat pump units) from $13,300 and we have a remainder of $4,800. This $4,800 amount is the key component for determining return on investment.

So, let’s divide $4,800 by our annual savings (when using geothermal) amounts listed above and determine the return on investment when converting existing equipment:

 Conversion of home with natural gas: $4,800/$1,257 = 3.8 years

• Conversion of home with electric air-to-air heat Pump: $4,800/$1,144 = 4.2 years

• Conversion of Home with propane: $4,800/$1,813 = 2.6 years

Again, these figures are estimates and, hopefully, you can see that once the return-on-investment period is over you’ll begin to recognize years of lower utility bills. Plus, geothermal systems with the domestic hot water feature provide copious amounts of hot water as a byproduct.

Please feel free to contact me at smartenergytips@aecc.com with any energy-efficiency related questions. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/smartenergytips.org as well as listen to our podcasts.

Bret Curry is the residential energy marketing manager for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC).

 

UK Flats get community ground loop

Croft House in Holsworthy, North Devon in SW UK is to be upgraded to a geo system using individual water to water units and a community loop field.

The system design is by Kensa and partial funding is coming from an ECO grant.

 

Read more at the article in 24Dash.

Product Availability

EDGE Geo carries a full inventory of Bosch & GeoComfort Geothermal Heat Pumps.

We also carry a full line of flow centers, pumps, piping, zoning and IAQ products.

We stock ecobee3 HomeKit enabled thermostats.

Our available products include HPGX GeoXchange systems and the Slim Jim Geo Lake Plate product line.

See our Product Menu or Contact Us for more details.