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Investment in Geothermal Can Create Green Jobs and Reduce Carbon Emissions March 1, 2009

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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WaterFurnace is a founding member of the Indiana Renewable Energy Association.

Fort Wayne, IN. – President Obama has signed the Economic Stimulus Package and WaterFurnace International can contribute to the nation’s economic recovery with a plan that will create jobs and save energy.

The stimulus package is intended to create and save 3.6 million jobs and jumpstart the economy with economic recovery tax cuts and targeted investments. In addition to putting money back in the pockets of consumers and businesses, the package also includes provisions that will help achieve long-term goals, such as improving energy efficiency in both the public and private sectors.

Among those provisions, the plan calls for a disbursement of $6.9 billion to state and local governments for energy efficiency upgrades and the reduction of carbon emissions. “This could amount to as much as $100 million in the state of Indiana,” said Bruce Ritchey, CEO of Indiana-based WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, Inc., a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional geothermal and water source heat pumps.

By investing a portion of this $100 million in rebates or low interest loans to homeowners who replace their old fossil fuel or straight electric furnaces with geothermal heat pumps the country would definitely make progress toward the goals of the stimulus package. WaterFurnace notes that Indiana and other states in the country that have invested in similar programs were able to create hundreds of “green collar jobs” while significantly increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

According to Ritchey, a $2,000 rebate on the purchase of a geothermal heat pump or availability of low interest loans, would generate 200 heat pump sales every month in Indiana, or 2,400 unit sales at the end of the first year. “At the same time, every 18 installations would create one new job. At the end of the first year that means we will have created 133 new green collar jobs (2,400 units divided by 18 installations per job). At $2,000 per unit, the total cost of a job creation/energy efficiency rebate program in the state of Indiana would be $4.8 million over the course of a year.”

In addition to creating jobs, the rebate program and the ensuing installation of geothermal heat pumps would cut an average four metric tons of carbon emissions per year per unit.“If you multiply those reductions by the average unit life of 24.4 years, that means that 97.6 metric tons of emissions could be eliminated over the lifetime of each unit, and 234,240 tons over the lifetime of the 2,400 units sold through the rebate program,” said Ritchey.

Looking beyond Indiana to a national rebate program, Ritchey added, “If every state would take just five percent of the funding available through the energy efficiency portion of the stimulus package and invest it in a geothermal incentive, I can’t think of a faster, more cost effective, greener way to put people back to work, save fossil fuel, reduce carbon emissions and save homeowners thousands of dollars per year for the next 24.4 years. It’s the stimulus that keeps on stimulating.”

The heating and air conditioning industry has been hit hard by the recession, the collapse of the new construction market and the lack of consumer financing have slammed the industry over the past two years. Sales of heating systems were down to the levels not seen since 1970. The stimulus package is vital to this industry.

All geothermal heat pumps are built right here in the United States, (Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida and New York). Geothermal systems are installed and saving energy and the environment in all 50 states and are being exported around the globe. Every unit requires 24 hours of good paying manufacturing labor and 32 hours of installation labor for the small businesses across the country that install the systems (heating and air conditioning contractors, electricians, plumbers, excavators and drilling machine operators). All of those businesses are hurting right now and are available and able to start installing this green technology in homes across the US immediately.

WaterFurnace International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional geothermal and water source heat pumps. Products from WaterFurnace include energy-efficient and environmentally friendly geothermal comfort systems, indoor air quality products and pool heaters. WaterFurnace (TSX:WFI) was founded in 1983, the company is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind.

See http://www.waterfurnace.com/.

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