The increasing cost of natural gas and propane in the United States have boosted the sales of earth energy systems, according to one of the manufacturers.
FORT WAYNE, Indiana, US, 2001-03-12 //SolarAccess.com// WaterFurnace International says gross profits for January exceeded projections by 43 percent, resulting in the highest gross profit month in the company’s history. Gross sales exceeded projections by 10 percent to make it the second highest January on record. “Traditionally, January is a slow month for us but, with the rising costs of natural gas and propane, our dealers are seeing a bigger demand,” says Tony Cooper. “More consumers are in the market for high efficiency systems that will help them lower their utility bills.” WaterFurnace manufactures geothermal and water-source systems that provide heating and cooling for space conditioning applications, as well as water heating. The company says it has 1,800 dealers in the U.S. and Canada who sell the systems in the residential market. Officials report that dealers are generating more qualified leads as a direct result of rising prices for natural gas. “January was a great start to what we believe is going to be a banner year for us,” adds president and CEO Bruce Ritchey. WaterFurnace recently released a unit which it claims is the first earth energy system to use the environmentally-friendly R410-A refrigerant. Ground source heat pumps transfer solar radiation from the ground into a building, but require a compressor to upgrade the heat, and leakage of refrigerant is the industry’s major source of GHG emissions. The company also recently announced a joint venture with Hardin Geotechnologies of Indianapolis to market a system that uses municipal water as its source of energy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says geothermal heat pumps are the most energy efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies available and represent a major opportunity for reducing national energy use and pollution.