August 25, 2016 | IGSHPA News | Geothermal News

From the (Vice) President
Avoiding the California Duck Curve

IGSHPA should pause and consider what we must do to be relevant when the tax credits are gone. Your committees are doing fantastic work at IGSHPA and their efforts are going to be of great benefit. However, our industry needs a marching flag to follow.

The simple truth is that all renewables have a higher first cost but possibly a lower life cycle cost. Some renewables maintain the credits-but not ground source as it expired for whatever reason(s). Electricity produced from renewables is battling the massive investments by utilities across the U.S. Natural Gas fuel is currently inexpensive but the transmission and distribution infrastructure of natural gas requires major upgrades and the heating and power generating consumer will pay for the upgrades. In my opinion, electric utilities are embracing pricing methods that divides the service into several streams and further bifurcates the pricing components as they move into an uncertain future.

  • Return on invested capital
  • Fuel costs
  • Demand fees (kW)
  • Usage fees (kW•hr)
  • Program fees to offset efficiency losses

The rates and riders by electric utilities are getting complicated and along with fear of the “California Duck Curve” utilities are hesitant to consider changes. Add on top of this the Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) long-term planning needs and one can see the electric utilities’ frustrations.

It is time for IGSHPA and OSU to develop reliable and accurate tools to compare energy and power loads for various heating and cooling methods; which are the majority of heat, energy and power requirements for all homes and commercial buildings. Since nearly all cooling is air sourced this should be our first objective to document and compare. The experts in IGSHPA must document and easily explain how ground source systems provide the reductions in utility capital, demand, usage, and fuel to consumers, energy regulatory agencies, and electric utility’s executives. IGSHPA must build our organization as the best advocate for consumers and electric utilities searching for true sustainable resources. This should be IGSHPA’s flagship mission we carry.

  1. Let us develop a straightforward demand and usage comparison of cooling using air source and ground source systems at peak outside air temperatures (OAT).
  2. Do the same for heating at peak heating OAT. The variable refrigerant volume (VRV) and flow (VRF) systems offer a compelling “proffer” but in the end at peak they are simple refrigerant systems struggling to move heat to or from the OAT.
  3. Prepare an easy to understand paper demonstrating ground source systems superiority to all other systems including solar.

IGSHPA should further show that ground source systems cut the fat out of the “California Duck Curve”. Let your Board of Directors know what you think and let us go forward with confidence.


Garen Ewbank
IGSHPA Board of Directors Vice President
IGSHPA Sweden GSHP Conference

Committee Updates

Advocacy Committee-The Advocacy Committee is comprised of nine members collectively representing a strong diversity of industry perspectives. The recently constituted committee is currently in the process of getting organized. The Advocacy Committee intends to focus on growing industry awareness, improving public relations with various strategic industry partners, continued promotion of ground source energy benefits, and strongly advocate for the direct incorporation of ground source energy into utility energy generation plans on both the supply side thru direct ownership of decentralized ground source energy systems and expanded demand side energy programs.

Conference Planning Committee
-Tim Litton, WaterFurnace International Director of Marketing Communications is the new Conference Planning Committee chair. He met with the full committee for the first time August 15. The Conference Planning Committee moved to meeting every other week in order to facilitate decisions and tasks. The committee also decided as a group to expand breakouts to include business training. This will help prepare attendees for success with the possible expiration of a tax credit.

Certified Geothermal Inspectors Workshops

Cary Smith and John Turley have been teaching the Certified Geothermal Inspectors Workshops across the nation since the rollout of the course in October 2016 in Kansas City. Classes have been held in North Carolina and New York and will soon be moving to the western United States October 11-12 with a course in Salt Lake City, Utah, sponsored by Sound Geothermal.

The courses following the Utah course will be in Oklahoma City and Fort Wayne, Indiana. ClimateMaster will sponsor a course October 26-27 in OKC while WaterFurnace will sponsor a course November 9-10 in Fort Wayne.

Class Infromation
IGSHPA Training and Accreditation Opportunities

IGSHPA has several opportunities across North America during 2016 for you to become certified or accredited through one of our programs. Please visit our training homepage for more info and to register to attend a class.

Certified GeoExchange Designer Course
Trainer: Ed Lohrenz
Date: September 19-21
Location: Washington, D.C.
(In conjunction with WEEC)

Certified Geothermal Inspector Workshop
Trainer: Cary Smith
Date: September 28-29, 2016
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Sponsored by Sound Geothermal
(Learning units available for course through AIA)

Accredited Installer Workshop
Trainer: IGSHPA
Date: October 19-21, 2016
Location: Stillwater, OK

Certified Geothermal Inspector Workshop
Trainer: Cary Smith
Date: October 26-27
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Sponsored by ClimateMaster
(Learning units available for course through AIA)

Certified Geothermal Inspector Workshop
Trainer: Cary Smith
Date: November 9-10, 2016
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Sponsored by WaterFurnace
(Learning units available for course through AIA)

Trainer: Ryan Carda, P.E.
Date: Rolling - Begin Immediately
Location: Online

Trainer: Ryan Carda, P.E.
Date: Rolling - Begin Immediately
Location: Online

There Is Still Time To Renew And Recertify

The membership and recertification drive wrapped up June 30 but there is still time to renew and recertify if you missed the deadline. Please contact us right away if you think your membership or certification has expired.

The two changes in this renewal cycle are: 1) every member has a vote in the association and 2) membership and certification are no longer tied together. Individual members have the option to recertify their accreditations and join as a member separately. T
hese changes address our members' concerns and serve to create a more beneficial and cost-effective membership and certification environment for the GSHP industry through IGSHPA.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please visit or call 405-744-5175.

Geo Outlook Available!

Geothermal News

2016 MIT Climate Mitigation Solutions Contest Update

Congratulations to the proposal team of Cary Smith, Ed Lohrenz, Don Penn, Carl Orio and the Net Zero Foundation for winning the judges choice award during the 2016 MIT Climate Mitigation Solutions Contest. The team will get to present the plan at a conference September 28-29 in Boston, Massachusetts, to the senior leadership responsible for creating the MIT emissions reductions plan. The goal of this plan is to open the door for GHP into MIT. You can view the proposal at

Have News?

Do you have news you want to share with IGSHPA for consideration for The Loop or Geo Outlook? Email Erin with your news.
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