Government & Others

The Federal Government has taken an interest in making the public aware of the benefits of Geothermal Heat Pump systems. Some of these are:

The United States General Accounting Office, in their June 1994 report to Congress on Geothermal Energy stated:

"This report discusses barriers to the use of geothermal heat pumps, a promising but relatively unknown technology, and efforts made by industry and government to increase their use. The report recommends that the Secretary of Energy establish a program to promote geothermal heat pumps as a tool for energy-efficient heating and cooling."

The Geothermal Division of the US Department of Energy subsequently prepared a plan called "GHP 2000." The goal is a five-year marketing plan for geothermal heat pumps to increase acceptance of this technology.

As a direct result of "GHP 2000," the Department of Energy, and the nation's electric utilities formed the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium.

It is an organization of electric utilities and their institutions (such as EEI and EPRI), equipment manufacturers and their allies, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.

The goals are:

  • Jump start this emerging market,
  • Increase market penetration,
  • Reduce emissions of carbon equivalents, and
  • Build a self-sustaining market - a market not dependent on utility rebates or government funding.

There are three main elements planned to help achieve these goals.

  1. First Cost Competitiveness
    Pay Attention! Alternative Financing Options
    Pay Attention! Model Demand Side Management
    Pay Attention! Integrated Resource Planning Programs
    Pay Attention! Drilling Technology and Ground Loop Cost Reduction
    Pay Attention! System Performance Improvements

  2. Technology Confidence Building
    Pay Attention! Involvement of Utilities
    Pay Attention! Public Awareness and Education
    Pay Attention! Regional Demonstration Utility Programs

  3. Infrastructure Strengthening
    Pay Attention! Legislation/Regulations
    Pay Attention! Training and Certification
    Pay Attention! Design Tools
    Pay Attention! Standards

These proposals were documented in a report titled the "National Earth Comfort Program - A Proposal for an Industry-Government Collaborative".

For more information, write or call:

Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium
701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-2696
Phone: 202/508-5500

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department is also finding geothermal heat pumps useful in new projects, and as a replacement for a central boiler-chiller system.

They have found these advantages:

  1. Geothermal has lower operating costs than gas,
  2. There are no flues or combustion air,
  3. It is easier to individually meter,
  4. It is self-contained, and
  5. There are no outside units to vandalize.