Along with leaders from the solar thermal and biomass industries, CoGEHPA president Joel Poppert has helped draft the Colorado Renewable Thermal Standard (RTS), a bill which will be introduced in the 2013 legislative session. If passed, the bill will be a game changer for igniting GHP market growth in Colorado. The RTS will add proven thermal technologies, including geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), into Colorado’s renewable energy portfolio, which to date only addresses renewable electricity generation. Since we use more energy to heat and cool our buildings than we do to create electricity, the RTS makes sense in tapping renewable thermal energy to create jobs, reduce fossil fuel use and increase our energy security. The primary goal of the RTS is to provide rebates for GHPs and other thermal renewable systems installed over a 12-15 year period.
The RTS is projected to produce $10 million in annual rebates for the owners of GHP systems, and the rebates are designed to offset 25-30% of the total cost of the system, leading to an estimated $40-60 million in annual GHP sales in Colorado. In addition, the RTS establishes sensible guidelines for qualifying systems and their installers to insure that our industry is protected from bad installs that only set our industry back. Because the bill has such strong potential to accelerate growth of the Colorado GHP market the national Geothermal Exchange Organization is providing financial support to aid CoGEHPA in this ground breaking effort.