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How green financial incentives help Alberta move to geothermal heating and cooling

READY FOR APPROVAL Envirotech Blog #2  Financial incentives for geothermal

There’s no doubt about it.  The cost of a heating and cooling system for a home,  whether it is a new build or a retrofit, is one of the largest portions of a budget.  But no other upgrade to your living space or condition where you are looking for efficiencies can have a larger impact on reducing home operating costs, or have a greater positive impact on the environment.   A geothermal heating and cooling system falls into both of those areas–it can make you more green, but the initial costs can be expensive.  The good news is, as with many renewable and sustainable energy solutions, there are green financial incentives to be found.

How does geothermal heating and cooling work?

A  geothermal heating and cooling system uses the constant temperatures underground to heat or cool a building, depending on the season.  Loops of pipes carrying an environmentally-friendly solution are inserted underground (or in some cases into a small body of water).  This piping system is connected to a pump system.   In the winter, the system brings heat from the ground and transfers it into the building being heated.   In the summer, the system works in the opposite direction, cooling the building by extracting the heat and radiating it underground (or underwater).

Using the change in temperature happening naturally underground removes the need for fossil fuels such as natural gas for heating. It reduces the electricity used for heating or cooling, reducing your monthly cost, and your monthly reliance on electricity or natural gas. The system involved, with pipes being put in the ground does not come without an expense.   Depending on how the system is designed, and how easy it is to bury piping will determine the ultimate cost.  

What green financial incentives are available for geothermal heating and cooling?

Because geothermal systems use clean, renewable sources they fall into a category of home improvement that are being incentivized by the government, and in some cases, utilities. These incentives can help offset the initial cost of this upgrade.   As with many things one has to act quickly and decisively to be able to take advantage of incentives.

One of the incentives available is through the Canada Green Homes Grant Initiative.  This initiative provides homeowners with a grant of up to $5,000 for a retrofit.  This is part of a seven-year program through the Government of Canada.  As of January, 2022 there have been well over 180,000 applications made.  A total of 700,000 grants are expected to be funded, so it is best to act quickly.  This program does require a homeowner to go through a pre-retrofit evaluation of their retrofit plan, and their home’s energy efficiency as a whole.  The good news is, that program is free to the homeowner.

 

Another incentive program is the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) which provides low-interest, long-term financing for energy efficiency upgrades for homes and businesses, including geothermal systems.  This program is starting in municipalities across Alberta, including Calgary in late 2021 and Edmonton in 2022. As with other incentive programs, there is a limited amount of funds available and so it is best to act quickly.  The CEIP program covers many different aspects of home energy sustainability, with geothermal towards the bottom of this long list. Again, as with other programs, there are very specific guidelines that must be followed to take advantage of these programs,  and most start with using a licensed contractor for design and installatio

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Next Steps

Spring is the best season to start a new geothermal project and “get your loops in!” We can help you apply for incentive programs too. Envirotech Geothermal proudly serves the Lakeland, Calgary, and Edmonton, Alberta regions including Canmore and Rockyview helping homeowners and builders to discover the benefits and features of geothermal heating and cooling. Contact us today to learn how you can save up to 70% on your heating cooling bills by utilizing geothermal heating and cooling in your home.  Call us at 780.220.0842 or request a Geothermal Consultation for more information.

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