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“ Anything that works for big buildings you can do for your house. It’s just a matter of scale ”
– Mark Brescia
The clean energy future is here. Consolidated Edison of NY is providing opportunities for all their customers to reduce the carbon footprint we leave on this earth.
Transitioning to geothermal for your cooling and heating helps accelerate the reduction of fossil fuels and reduce other pollution. An additional piece of good news is that the federal investment tax credit of 26% was recently extended for 2021and 2022.
The tax credits and ConEdison’s clean heat incentives dramatically reduce the total cost of the geothermal installations.
If your concern is not having a lawn to install your geothermal – don’t worry. Cutting edge technology takes care of that issue by drilling straight down – so that you don’t have to use much of your yard at all.
Mark Brescia is a Program Manager in the Energy Efficiency & Demand Management Department at Consolidated Edison. Mark manages the second Non-Pipeline Solutions market solicitation, Residential Ground Source Heat Pump and Residential Weatherization programs.
Prior to joining Con Edison in 2018, Mark worked for National Grid managing their Residential, Multi-Family and Commercial Kitchen energy efficiency programs for New York City and Long Island. He was also previously employed by ICF as part of the NYC Clean Heat initiative of Mayor Bloomberg accelerating conversion of large New York City buildings off heavy heating oil. Mark began his sustainability career in his home state of New Jersey managing a fundraising program transitioning residents to CFL bulbs that supported local schools, community groups and houses of worship.
In this episode, Mark discusses ConEdison’s program to provide cash incentives that reduce the cost of geothermal. He talks about existing buildings (including St. Patrick’s Cathedral) that have gone through retrofitting geothermal installations, and new construction that provides heating, cooling and hot water with geothermal wells drilled directly under a building. He shares that, if you’re cooling / heating systems are not keeping you comfortable and you are experiencing high energy costs, then it’s time for you to consider upgrading to geothermal
Why is ConEdison moving to clean energy, and why are you involved with this program?
“ConEdison is really committed to leading and delivering the transition to the clean energy future that our customers deserve and expect. We work together with governments, our customers, industry, various stakeholders to help rapidly reduce the use of fossil fuels. And for me, it isn’t my job, it really is my passion. And I’ve turned that passion into a career.”
Tell us a little bit about the geothermal heating and cooling systems and how those work and what kind of incentives you offer to consumers?
“Geothermal is one of the programs that I work on, primarily focused on our residential customers.
Geothermal technology is the best of the heat pump technologies. It is the highest efficiency because it’s exchanging energy with the earth, and the earth is at a constant temperature.
What’s the total incentive that you’re looking at?
On average, for a single family home in Westchester, it’s about $12,000. And that’s per heating capacity. For our larger customers, we have incentives of $150 per mmbtu of energy savings.
If somebody is looking at a geothermal system, though, the average family can expect somewhere around $12,000 worth of cash incentives from ConEdison to help them make that transition.. How does it work?
“There’s no real paperwork for the customer to fill out, you don’t have to wait for a check. It’s actually right off the top of the install price. So there are no additional forms or waiting. This is money just to reduce your out of pocket costs right upfront and get you going on geothermal or heat pumps right away.”
What are the goals of ConEd’s clean heating program?
“It’s the New York State Clean Heat Program. This is not just an effort of ConEdison. ConEdison is the local electric utility here in New York City and Westchester. But all of the NYS electric utilities are doing this. The goals are to accelerate the reduction of fossil fuels for heating and achieve those larger New York State goals for a low carbon future.”
How can customers access the program – where can people find information?
Save With Clean Heating and Cooling Technology – Visit: coned.com/heatpumps
Supernova: “There’s a big misconception with geothermal that you need a huge lawn, a massive yard. That’s not the case. There’s another type of geothermal system called direct exchange that can be installed in even small spaces.”
“With new construction, you can build underneath the building straight to the lot lines. And it’s great.”
I was blown away to find out that in ConEd territory, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the most famous icons in the world, just recently did a geothermal retrofit with wells 2,000 feet underground in Manhattan.
“It’s a beautiful install. I had a chance to take a look at the mechanical room and it’s amazing ConEdison is really proud of that project.”
One thing you’re most energized about today: “I would say, it’s very recent news that the federal investment tax credit is held at 26% for 2021. But what’s really exciting is that it was scheduled to be reduced, but is now extended through 2022.
“The most incentives you can receive are right now. Plan your upgrade, think about your system, and take advantage of these tax credits and clean heat incentives from ConEdison.”
Piece of Parting Advice: “Heat pumps, including geothermal, are good for customers to provide affordable heating and cooling. They’re good for the utility, as they reduce our peak energy use. And they’re good for the environment by reducing CO2 and other air pollution.”