According to a new report from North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, The GSHP or Ground Source Heat Pump is 45 percent more efficient than any other heating or cooling system. The report also says that the number of individuals who install this systems completely depends of the amount of state and federal incentives there are.
A GSHP takes advantage of the fact that the ground around structures remains significantly constant all year, usually between 45 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the exact location in the US. Pumping the water through coils that have been buried in the ground gives us warm water which can be used to cool residential or commercial places in summer and heat them during winter.
Off Set Costs
However, a GSHP goes for two or three times what a normal heating and cooling system costs. This is means that an average business or homeowner would have to wait for a couple of years before they can be able offset the cost of the system installation. With incentives, the upfront costs are relatively reduced and this enables realization of energy savings much sooner after the installation of the system.
Ground Source Heat Pumps suffer the safe disadvantage as other energy efficient systems, such as high efficiency windows, energy saving lighting, solar systems and green or cool roofs. They all have huge upfront costs and although most of us want to reduce environmental pollution, sometimes our budgets do not allow us.
If the society believes that there is some good brought in living in an environment with a less carbon footprint, which is lowering the cases of diseases and promoting health for all individuals the government may feel justified in providing incentives to encourage citizens in switching to geothermal heating or other environmental friendly technologies.
PACE & HERO
An alternative to direct incentives for enhancing energy efficiency would be an alternative financing program such as PACE or HERO. This will allow a business or a homeowner to finance the upfront costs by having them added to the local tax bill. The authority sends the required payments to the lender and retains a small amount or percentage for processing, handling and collection process.
The PACE or HERO program is very advantageous in that it allows a part of real estate to be sold without needing the repayment of the loan of the energy system improvements in full. Therefore, a combination of such creative financing programs and tax credits will be needed to make a huge impact as a nation in reducing carbon footprint or as most like to call it, going green.
The North Carolina Renewable Energy Credit will soon expire, and the uncertainty whether it will be renewed or not has had a negative impact in the number of Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) being installed. This is bad news for the economy of the state as well because the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, points out that about $143 million was added to revenues from just the installation of GSHPs.