How do I find the right geothermal contractor for my building/project?
How efficient are geothermal systems?
Will a geothermal system pay-back in energy savings?
Are there state or federal incentives for geothermal systems?
How much do geothermal systems cost?
What is required of a professional in order to be a member of the WGA?
The U.S. Department of Energy explains:
‘The heating efficiency of ground-source and water-source heat pumps is indicated by their coefficient of performance (COP), which is the ratio of heat provided in Btu per Btu of energy input. Their cooling efficiency is indicated by the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), which is the ratio of the heat removed (in Btu per hour) to the electricity required (in watts) to run the unit. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label, which indicates a heating COP of 3.3 or greater and an EER of 14.1 or greater.’
These ENERGY STAR® efficiencies compare favorably to a COP of 1.0 for resistance heaters and an EER of 10.0-11.0 for central air conditioners.
Geothermal systems generally pay for themselves in 7-12 years through savings in energy cost.
There are state incentives available through Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program or your local utility. See the Focus on Energy website for their incentives.
Federal incentives are available in the form of tax credits. They are available for both residential and commercial systems.
The residential tax credit is for 30% of the cost of a system, with no maximum. More information on this tax credit can be found at the following link: Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The commercial tax credit is for 10% of the cost of a system, with no maximum. More information on this tax credit can be found at the following link: Corporate Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Geothermal systems cost more than conventional systems due to the cost of installing the ground loop (or pond loop). However, the life-cycle cost of a geothermal system is competitive with conventional systems due to energy savings over the life of the system. For more specific costs, consult a WGA member in your area.
All members of the WGA must pay a yearly fee, accept and agree to the Code of Ethics and meet the characteristics described below.
Is properly registered by the State of Wisconsin and is actively engaged in designing, installing or servicing geothermal systems.
Is properly registered by the State of Wisconsin and is actively engaged in designing, installing or servicing vertical or horizontal heat exchangers.
Is a Mechanical Engineer (P.E.) or is a HVAC system designer that designs and/or specifies geothermal systems.
Is an independent wholesaler of ARI certified geothermal systems.
Is any manufacturer of ARI certified geothermal equipment.
Is any electric utility serving Wisconsin customers.
Is any company or individual not included in the other categories whose business has a direct relationship to the geothermal industry.
Is a member whom the Association wants to recognize for outstanding service to the geothermal industry. Such members do not have voting privileges.
* Must also have proof of liabilty insurance.