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Geothermal Heat Pump Sales in 2013.

While 2012 was an overall weak year for GHPs in the US, key states continued growth. Some have state incentive programs and some didn't. In some cases, it was simply dogged determination from local distribution, in others the state incentives helped to drive the market.

There is no question that the current 30% Federal Tax Credit is helping to drive demand. Read more here about the tax credit. For long-term consistent growth, the real driving force has to be consumer and contractor education. There is a small percentage of contractors offering geothermal heat pump systems, if you can expand that base correctly you'll expand the education both in the contractor and the consumer sector. A solid contractor base would be one which has proper training and installs geothermal heat pumps often enough to do it properly each and every time.

I recently read an article by Chris Williams of Heatspring Magazine. In his article, Chris addresses what he believes to be the top 4 items the industry needs to drive adoption of the technology. Here are my thoughts on his trends to drive adoption.

Trend #1 - State Policy will Drive Adoption - while the Federal Tax Credit is helping and State assistance would also help, these should be temporary measures. The technology can and will stand on its own. The industry is viable and sustainable, but the major players are all simply bit players in the overall HVAC market. It will take major level adoption from HVAC manufacturers to make a major impact. Why don't the majors get involved? The truth be told, they don't have a vested interest. Equivalent equipment cost is essentially the same as what they currently sell and geo technology requires an entire new level of training and dealer development. Why invest in the 3% that's geo when you already have a substantial piece of the 97%? They pick up no revenue from the excavation cost and this is typically the additional cost over a conventional HVAC system. This is the continual hurdle the industry faces, no buy-in from the big guys; Carrier, Goodman, Lennox, Trane, York. While Bosch has started to make their presence known in the geo market, they are not an overall HVAC player in North America and have struggled adapting to the difference in distribution between HVAC and their other divisions. They do bring a recognizable name and legitimacy to the industry, this MUST be backed up with consumer marketing, infrastructure support and training.

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Trend #2 - Real Time Monitoring - Real time monitoring is typically done on large commercial projects that are managed as an energy service contract. This type of monitoring is not typical for a residential installation. Our contractor base can offer loop temperature monitoring at a very low cost when they install one of our GeoComfort or Bosch systems using our ecobee thermostat. Adding full blown data recording can be expensive and honestly, in most cases is needless. As the author pointed out in his note #2 on what will NOT drive the industry, the homeowner is looking for lower utilities and savings; not COP ratings or kW usage reports.

Trend #3 - Communications and Industry Research - this one is a little vague and I'm not certain of the relevance. Knowing the number of employees in a specific field will not make that field grow. As far as the first three items listed, that information is available to AHRI reporting partners currently. Some of the other items would be interesting, but none of that will educate the consumer or drive industry sales.

Trend #4 - the author is firing on all cylinders here. He is correct in stating that installation costs will not go down, nor will utility costs. Higher utility costs equates to a better fit for geo technology. Saving 60% on $100 is a nice savings of $60, but if you make that 60% savings on $400, that's $240 in your pocket. At those levels, more people will certainly become interested in the technology.

Your can read the original article at 4 Trends Driving the Geothermal Heat Pump Industry in 2013.

About EDGE Geo Supply.
EDGE Geo Supply is a full-line wholesale distributor of geothermal heat pumps, thermal solar systems, tankless water heaters, and accessories. Green technology is our specialty.
EDGE Geo Supply
15222 King Road STE 601
Frisco, TX 75034
Phone: 469-362-0556
Fax: 469-362-4257

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