Posts Tagged ‘geothermal’

Senator Sanders and Assistant Secrectary Zoi lead geothermal discussion

April 17, 2010

Asst. Secretary Cathy Zoi joins U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch at a forum to discuss geothermal technology.

I just got back from a discussion this afternoon hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and featuring Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi from the Department of Energy on the topic of geothermal.  Congressman Peter Welch also had the chance to speak of the bipartisan Home Star legislation that he introduced this week to help create jobs and make homes more energy-efficient. 

I’m a fan of geothermal, where it makes sense.  I was heartened though, to see many of the discussants talk about the importance of energy efficiency first.  Geothermal often makes the most sense when we’ve maximized energy-efficiency.  As a couple of the speakers mentioned–and as readers of this blog often hear–a critical first step is improving the envelope of the home.  That is, making sure the home is well-sealed, well insulated, with good ducts were applicable, and extending even to efficient windows and doors.  Geothermal–along other heat pump technology–is going to be a solid part of a smart energy future.  And it will best deliver on its promise after we’ve made our homes and commerical buildings more comfortable and energy-efficient.

I captured Cathy Zoi’s opening remarks on a bit of shaky video.

Thanks,
Mike

Efficiency First–A Vermont View

October 11, 2009

There was an interesting piece in today’s Burlington Free Press about the value of energy-efficiency and the good economics of starting with efficiency rather than with renewables.  This is the same mantra we’ve been repeating at GreenHomes, the conclusion reached in this year’s McKinsey Group report, and that a group of contractors and other members of Efficiency First was repeating to House and Senate members last week in Washington, DC.  [While you’re hitting the Free Press, check out a Q&A with Bill McKibben.]

Quoting the article:

Here are three options to substantially reduce heating cost and energy use, assuming current fuel prices:

 • Solar electric panel at a total cost of $185,000 with a homeowner cost of $74,000 and a taxpayer cost of $111,000. This amounts to $2,700 in savings a year.

• Geothermal heat pump at a total cost of $80,000 with a homeowner cost of $56,000 and a taxpayer cost of $24,000. This amounts to $1,670 in savings a year.

• 80 percent reduction in energy use through efficiency at a total cost of $55,000 with homeowner cost of $53,000 with taxpayer cost of $2,000. This amounts to $2,200 in savings a year.

Hmmm…that third option sounds better for the homeowner, the taxpayer, and the utility.
And speaking of Vermont, Vermont Congressman Peter Welch spoke to that above-mentioned group of contractors Wednesday night at Union Station in DC.  Congressman Welch has taken a strong leadership position on energy policy.   He was quoted from earlier remarks several times through the week.  “We should have the policy of efficiency first.”  Yes we should!

Thanks,
Mike

New York State Fair

August 26, 2009

New York residents, GreenHomes will be in the New York State Fair in Syracuse.  Look for us in the Center of Progress building, Booth 1.  We’ll have folks on hand to talk about energy-efficiency and renewables like solar hot water, solar PV, and geothermal.

Thanks,
Mike


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