22 May 2008

HELPING UTILITIES AND CUSTOMERS QUANTIFY THE BENEFITS OF GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMPS


GHPs installations have been making strong gains as a viable alternative heating
and cooling system, both in the United States and around the world. Although this
technology has been in existence since the 1940s, it still has not realized its full market
potential.
To help promote GHP installations, the Western Area Power Administration (Western), the
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the American Public Power
Association (APPA) commissioned a report featuring the “Best Practices” used by 12 utilities
and 17 trade allies to promote GHPs. This paper summarizes the ways in which these
utilities have blended marketing, financing, and infrastructure support to increase GHP
installations in their service areas.
The last section of this paper displays two very simple calculators. These tools were
developed to assist utility program planners estimate the value of GHP installations from both
the customer and utility perspectives. These calculators, which leverage existing materials,
provide a quick way that utilities can determine if the benefits of promoting a GHP program
outweigh the costs associated with lost revenues and program administration.