Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems Are Subject of New Google Startup

A geothermal heating and cooling company that began in a “moonshot factory” started by Google became its own company on July 6.

Dandelion Energy Inc. is the name of the stand-alone company coming out of Google’s Alphabet Moonshot Factory. The factory, formerly known as Google X, is an innovation engine that incubates new technical and scientific projects led by inventors, engineers, and designers with the goal of making the world a radically better place.

According to its website, Dandelion aims to make geothermal heating and cooling systems more accessible and affordable since the systems are currently more expensive than traditional heating and cooling units. This could lead to more work for groundwater industry professionals who do geothermal installations.

“There are about 100 million homes and buildings in the United States alone that are heated by burning fossil fuels. We’re going to try and see how rapidly and how efficiently we can get those buildings converted to cleaner, cheaper, combustion-free heat pumps,” Robert Wyman, a consultant for Dandelion, told NGWA.

“We’ve got lots of work to do and much of that work will rely on drillers who NGWA represents.”

Buildings account for nearly 40% of all carbon emissions in the United States, and the majority comes from heating and cooling emissions. Dandelion states its solution will cost consumers around half of what geothermal installations have cost to date and be less expensive than fuel oil or propane heating.

Currently, Dandelion is only available in upstate New York, though the goal is to grow its reach. Dandelion’s low-cost geothermal installations are available for zero down for qualifying homeowners, enabling many homeowners to begin saving on monthly heating and cooling expenses immediately.

Homeowners living in Dandelion’s territory are encouraged to reach out to the company to schedule a free home assessment. If geothermal will work for the home, a Dandelion team member will design the geothermal system and schedule the installation. Installation is handled by local geothermal loop system installers.

Kathy Hannun, CEO of Dandelion, said, “We started this project because we realized millions of homeowners are using expensive, truck-delivered fuels because they don’t have access to better options today. We knew if installing a geothermal heat pump was a simpler and more affordable process, these homeowners would have access to a better product that’s also better for the climate.”

This venture combines with momentum still building for the U.S. Congress to reinstate tax credits for installation of geothermal heat pumps with H.R. 1090, the Technologies for Energy Security Act.

The bill currently has 96 cosponsors including 55 Republicans and 41 Democrats. To see if your member of Congress has signed on in support, click here. If your member of Congress is not yet a cosponsor, visit NGWA’s Legislative Action Center to send him or her a letter urging their support.

Support for H.R. 1090 will demonstrate the broad support for renewable energy technologies like geothermal heat pumps. The more cosponsors the bill has, the more likely it could be attached to a broader tax package.

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