Making Geothermal Affordable in Missouri
In Central Missouri 15 lucky residents who have applied for low income weatherization assistance will receive free geothermal heat pump installations. Randy Cole, Central Missouri Community Action energy conservation coordinator recently wrote a weatherization grant request for stimulus money from the US Department of Energy. Included in the grant request was the addition of free geothermal heating and cooling systems. The grant was approved and as a result 15 homes in central Missouri will be retrofitted with energy efficient geothermal systems.
There are already approximately 400 low income weatherization applicants, but unfortunately only 15 families will receive the free heat pumps. The installation of the geothermal heat pumps are expected to cot approximately $15,000 for each home, but the homes will also receive further weatherization such as added insulation and weather stripping. The tightening of the homes will increase the cost to approximately $18,000.
The major obstacle faced by homeowners interested in geothermal heat pumps is the initial installation cost. The Missouri program will allow low income families to save money on their heating and cooling bills without struggling to provide the high upfront costs.
The Recovery Act is already providing a 30% federal tax credit on geothermal heat pumps in order to make them more affordable for middle income families, however the important thing to remember is that geothermal heat pumps save so much money on heating and cooling utilities that they pay for themselves in just a few years!
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