Geothermal Heat Pump Program
The co-op's "Thermal Energy Service" is the first of its kind in the state that allows the cooperative to install, own and maintain the loops required for the system with a monthly fee charged to the consumer.
The system uses a heat pump to force the transfer of heat from the ground to the home. Water moves through a loop of pipes, and when the weather is cold, water heats up as it travels through the loops. Once above the ground, the warmed water transfers heat into a consumer's home or building. The co-op continues to explore ways to reduce generation capacity and is participating in a geothermal heat pump validation project in conjunction with WFEC that will validate the demand reduction achieved when an existing heating and cooling unit (on average 10-15 years old) is retrofitted with a geothermal unit. Robin Inge, Member Services Advisor at RCEC, Dave Sanders, board member and Beth Lindsey, cooperative attorney, volunteered to participate in an 18 month study that will document the actual load profile usage of before and after the home is retrofitted with a geothermal unit. The results of the study will be three-fold: Reduction in consumer’s overall energy costs, reduction in co-op’s wholesale cost of power which lowers energy costs for all consumers and last but certainly not least……minimize future generation plant expansion. This information will be made available to RCEC’s members via the website, in the co-op's monthly newsletter that is included with electric bills as well as on the back page of the monthly “Enchantment” magazine. Click WFEC's website to access more information on the geothermal validation project and its progress. Click "here" to view consumer interviews on why they chose to go with geothermal heating and cooling.
Using the co-op's 3% interest energy efficiency loan program, a qualifying consumer can submit an application for the purchase and installation of the inside unit of a geothermal system and have the co-op install, own and maintain the loop portion of the system through this fixed monthly "thermal energy service" fee which is added to the consumer's monthly bill or utilize the loop loan program at 0% interest for $2,500 per refrigeration ton for 20 years. The consumer can take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit and 30% state tax credit given on geothermal systems. For more information on the tax credits, click "here".