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Geothermal & You

Environmental Impact

Joe Shefcheck, Corporate Environmental Officer While the economic benefits are significant, the environmental impact of a geothermal heating and cooling system can be even more convincing.

Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that by the year 2030, geothermal heat pumps can provide as much as 2.7 quads per year of renewable energy. This is very significant, as our annual energy appetite in the U.S. is 81 quads per year and growing.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal systems average 40 percent greater efficiency than air-source heat pumps, 48 percent better than natural gas furnaces and 75 percent better than oil furnaces.


Geothermal systems currently in use help to remove more than 1.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions from the atmosphere every year.

In one study, a 3.5-ton residential system in Indiana reduced the power needed for heating, cooling and water heating by more than 17,000 kWh per year compared to electric resistance heat.

This equates to more than nine tons of coal that would have been burned at a power plant. Annual carbon dioxide emissions alone were cut by 12 tons. The savings increase with larger systems.

Read on to learn more about other environmental concerns:

Wells and water issues
Refrigerants & CFC issues

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