Dont like your electric rate? Reduce it!
Gas prices are on the rise. Electric rates are on the rise. Everywhere you turn prices are going up. What if you could buy an appliance that would reduce your electric rate?
You can! Install a geothermal heat pump into your house. Utility companies have either a fixed or a tiered electric rate. A lot of the electric utilities with a fixed rate offer a discounted rate for a geothermal system or other all electric homes. They do this through a sub-meter or second meter that monitors the electric usage by the geothermal unit(s) and they bill that usage at a reduced rate. This reduced rate is usually available for the heating months of October thru April. The main reason for this discounted rate is that a geothermal system will help balance the load on their power system. They don't have this huge load in the summer and then very little in the winter. It allows them to run their generation equipment more efficiently, thus reducing their cost of generation. It's a win-win for the utilities and the homeowners.
The tiered rate structure is just as it sounds. The more you use, the less you pay per kilowatt. It's like a reward program for those that use more electricity. Most homes use around 1,000 kilowatts per month for the basics like lights, TV, and computers. This first 1,000 kilowatts are billed at the highest rate. If you add an electric range, drier, or water heater along with your A/C you will step into the second tier. This tier may go up to 3,000 kilowatts or so and is billed at a lower rate. Once you install a geothermal system, a good bit of the electricity to run your system with push you into the third tier. This is the least expensive electricity they offer for residential services. Imagine if you pulled into your favorite gas station and the attendant said "This is your third fill this month, I'll take 35 cents a gallon off the price for you." That is the feeling you get from the electric company when you look at the tiered rate structure on your bill.
Have you have ever considered clipping coupons or hitting the sales to get a good deal? This is the kind of a "sale" that you don't even have to think about because it just happens for you every month. But if you really need a sale to get you moving, don't forget that the government is currently offering a 30 percent tax credit when you install a qualifying geothermal system. Then relax in the comfort and peace of mind that a geothermal system will give you and enjoy your lower electric rates.
Doug Schuster Doug Schuster started helping his father when he was in high school. In 1984, he helped install his first residential geothermal system. In 1996, Doug took over as owner of his dad's company. Since then he has been responsible for the design and installation of hundreds of geothermal systems. In 2001, Doug won a Project of the Year award from Enertech Global for an 80,000 sq.ft. retirement home. Doug has served on the board of the Iowa Geothermal Association and was president in 2009. www