Ban on Natural Gas Has Some New Yorkers Converting to Geothermal

Residential geothermal heating and cooling systems are seeing an increase in installations in some sections of Ney York due to a temporary ban on natural gas hookups.

According to the New York Times, several factors, including a recently enacted state carbon emissions law, natural gas delivery constraints, and the availability of tax incentives and rebates, are causing some homeowners to replace oil-burning furnaces or boilers with electric geothermal systems instead of heating and cooling systems that run on natural gas.

Power company Consolidated Edison, which serves the New York metropolitan area and Westchester County, announced earlier this year that is banning new gas hookups because demand is outpacing gas availability. It is also providing a $5000 rebate for customers who purchase a geothermal system from its partner Dandelion Energy, helping spur the uptick in new geothermal sales.

That rebate can also be combined with a 30 percent federal tax credit and another rebate from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, meaning some customers in the area are saving approximately $10,000 to $12,000 per new system.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal systems are about 48 percent more efficient than gas furnaces and 75 percent more efficient than oil furnaces. The U.S. Energy Department says consumers can cut their energy bills by up to 65 percent when compared to traditional heating and cooling systems.

This is good news for those who have earned NGWA’s Certified Vertical Closed Loop Driller (CVCLD) designation. The voluntary certification program highlights a geothermal professional’s knowledge of the skills and competencies associated with constructing a loop well. Find out more information about the geothermal certification program.