During the Twentieth Century we saw tremendous advances in technology and economic well-being around the world -- advances that would have been incomprehensible just a hundred years ago. Now as we enter a new century and a new millennium, it holds the promise of even greater achievements and challenges. For our economic well-being to continue, we need to pay close attention to the effect of technology on the environment, and to the wise use of energy resources. We're turning our attention to recycling, sustainable development, use of renewable energy, and to increasing energy efficiency.
Recent decades have seen the introduction and rapid growth in the use of geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool buildings, and to heat water. Energy efficiency, environmental benefits, and effectiveness in heating and cooling are among the reasons for the popularity of these systems with consumers. Other reasons for their popularity with designers, installers, and users are their flexibility, adaptability, and most importantly, economic operation and maintenance.
Electric utilities are finding that geothermal heat pumps create less demand for electricity during peak periods, which helps to defer the need to construct new electric generating facilities. In some instances, utilities are paying rebates or providing design assistance to encourage the use of geothermal heat pumps