NY-GEO & the 2016 NY-GEO Conference

For readers of my blogs about geothermal heat pumps, you now have a great place to learn more about this renewable thermal technology: Attend the NY-GEO-2016 Conference: “Breaking New Ground in Renewable Thermal Heating & Cooling.”

The conference is being held on April 19-20, 2016 in Albany, New York at the Albany Radisson. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is co-sponsoring it. PDH credits are available on the Design & Planning track.

Who is NY-GEO? The New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) is a not-for-profit trade association representing geothermal heat pump (GHP) installers, manufacturers, distributors, general contractors, engineers, renewable energy consultants and industry stakeholders from throughout New York State.

We are a small group of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about this clean, renewable heating and cooling technology. Our mission is to promote the mass adoption of GHPs in New York so residents can enjoy their economic and environmental benefits. As a founding member, I am deeply involved (pun intended!) with many aspects of its work.

Although NY-GEO was just established in 2014, we have forged quite a reputation in that short a time. Some of our achievements include:

  • Our first NY-GEO Conference March 17-18, 2015 at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. The engineering workshops were PDH-accredited. Among the presenters were: NY-GEO”s President John Franceschina (Senior Manager for Lockheed Martin’s Energy Efficiency and Demand Response program for PSEG Long Island), GHP industry leaders, Catherine Hill, Director, NY EXCEL (Executive Clean Energy Leadership) Program, Diane X. Burman, Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission, NYSERDA and Alliance for Clean Energy representatives, and NYS legislators and policymakers. The highlight of the conference was the revelation of the winner of the Top Job Competition.
  • Participation in several state initiatives and proposals:
    • NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Fund proposal.
    • NYSERDA’s 2014 Draft New York State Energy Plan and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Potential Study of New York State.
    • NYS Public Service Commission’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” initiative.
    • NYS Public Service Commission’s technical manual, New York Standard Approach for Estimating Energy Savings from Energy Efficiency Programs.
  • Successful lobbying of the NYS Senate and Assembly for passage of the:
    • Residential Geothermal Tax Credit bill (S02905). This bill provides a tax credit of 25% of the cost of installing geothermal energy systems, to a maximum of $5,000. (This is similar to the NYS Residential Solar Tax Credit.)
    • Sales Tax Exemption bill (S04279). This bill exempts the sale and installation of residential geothermal energy systems from the state’s sales and compensating use taxes. (This is similar to the NYS Solar Sales Tax Exemption.)

Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed both bills on November 20, 2015, he supports geothermal energy, writing in his veto statement:

Geothermal energy use is a reliable and effective way to reduce the need for carbon-based energy sources. I fully support the use of alternative energy sources … [However it] is premature to provide incentives … without fully appreciating how those incentives will fit within the state’s broader policy framework …While I am constrained to veto these bills, I look forward to working with the sponsors on how to best encourage the growth and use of geothermal energy throughout the state.

  • Our work with New York City Council Member Costa G. Constantinides to pass the Int. 609-A-2015 bill, which promotes the use of geothermal heat pumps in city-owned buildings. This bill was signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on January 7, 2016. It requires the identification of the types of geothermal systems and the buildings for which they would be suitable, the adoption of requirements for those who design and install geothermal systems and the completion of a feasibility study of waterfront properties suitable for the installation of geothermal systems in marine surface waters. But the major precedent set was the requirement to use the Social Cost of Carbon (established as starting at $128/metric ton over a 20-year period) in making spending decisions. See “New York City Council Gives a Thumbs Up to Geothermal Heat Pumps” for more information.

Come to our NY-GEO-2016 Conference: “Breaking New Ground in Renewable Thermal Heating & Cooling,” on April 19-20, 2016 in Albany, New York, to see what all the excitement is about and what we’re up to next!

There are membership and early bird registration discounts available, so Register now!

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Billii Roberti is co-owner, with her husband, of Green Choices Consulting. Together they researched energy efficiency, renewable energy and healthy building materials before renovating their home to ENERGY STAR® standards and included solar PV and geothermal heat pump system.

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