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New Research Says Geothermal Heat Pumps Reduce Homeowner Reliance on the Grid and Advance Decarbonization

Geothermal Industry News, Sustainable Living Carla Morris April 09 6 minutes reading time

Upgrading existing home heating and cooling systems to ground source heat pump (GSHP) affirms the adage “there’s power in numbers.” Potentially how much power?  

  • Enough to reduce the demand for electricity nationwide by 13% by 2050
  • Enough to reduce the need for 24,500 miles of grid transmission lines 
  • Enough to eliminate more than seven gigatons of carbon 

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The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored the study that says mass adoption or “deployment” of GSHPs would relieve stress on the national power grid,  reduce blackouts, and reduce system failures, especially in extreme weather conditions.  

All electricity consumers would benefit. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the U.S. Department of Energy's Groundbreaking Geothermal Heat Pump Research

  1. What is meant by “mass” scale? A neighborhood? A development? A region? Mass deployment in this study refers to nationwide adoption. Researchers projected that retrofitting about 70% of U.S. buildings with GSHPs would reduce the demand for electricity by as much as 13% by 2050. 
  2. Does upgrading to GSHPs alone accomplish these results? No, the study coupled upgrades to GSHPs with weatherization. The pairing makes sense, as homeowners often “tighten the envelope” of their homes by caulking windows and insulating attics to get the most out of their GSHP systems. 
  3. What is the projected time frame for these results? The study analyzed potential grid impact for the years 2022 to 2050. 
  4. What makes mass deployment of GSHPs a viable path to widespread energy efficiency? The technology is already in place. GSHPs are considered a “ready-made” solution to decarbonize homes and commercial buildings and reduce the need to generate new electricity.  
  5. How else would mass deployment of GSHPs benefit communities? The increased demand for GSHPs would expand the domestic GSHP industry and create local jobs for installers.  

The news bodes well for the GSHP industry and HVAC contractors whose expertise includes the installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems. The study lends credence to the claim that ground source heat pump technology is “the wave of the future.”  

 Go here to read the full report. 


Carla Morris


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