Radio: CNY community program pushes geothermal energy to decrease costs, harm to environment

Air date: 11/28/18 on WRVO

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A two-year community-based campaign has started in central New York meant to drive down heating and cooling costs and greenhouse gas emissions by using geothermal energy.

The campaign is called HeatSmart CNY, and it helps homeowners install ground-source and air-source heat pumps designed for cold climates. 

HeatSmart CNY program manager Lindsay Speer explained how these pumps work.

“There’s energy in the air and earth around us all the time,” Speer said. “There’s heat there. And so, what air source and ground source heat pumps do is they capture that energy and compress it and bring it into your home, pumping up the heat to the temperature you want in your house.”

It is a heating and cooling method that has been used in other parts of the country for years. Improved technology has made it more feasible for colder climates. Typical homes using oil or propane heat can save up to $1,800/year in fuel costs after installing heat pumps. 

New Pilot Program Provides Incentive to Consider Geothermal Heating and Cooling



Syracuse homeowners who might have entertained the idea of switching to geothermal heating and cooling now might have the motivation they need.  Heat Smart CNY has been awarded a half million dollars by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, or NYSERDA, to fund the program.  

HeatSmart Campaign Manager Lindsay Speer says they want to bring heating into the 21st century. 

“One of our major parts of this campaign is helping people learn what incentives they can leverage to make these technologies available to them. There are massive NYSERDA rebates as well as a 30% federal tax credit that can be leveraged right now.”

Speer says the program aims to modernize residential and commercial heating systems by installing air and ground source geothermal heat pumps designed for cold climates. Speer says the air source pumps were once thought not to work in cold environments, but technology advancements have made them fully functional.

HeatSmart CNY launches to make it easier and more affordable to install modern, clean heating and cooling solutions


SYRACUSE, NY – Nov. 13, 2018—Expensive annual heating and cooling bills may be a thing of the past for many homes and buildings in the Central New York region with the new HeatSmart CNY campaign. Organized by the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB), Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE), with support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and a team of volunteers, this two-year community-based campaign for Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego counties aims to help home and building owners install ground source (“geothermal”) and air source heat pumps designed for cold climates, as well as heat pump water heaters. Central New York was also awarded an additional $350,000 in funding for related workforce development and low-to-moderate income household projects.

The City of Syracuse publicly announced its support for HeatSmart CNY today, after the Common Council unanimously passed a memorializing resolution on Wednesday, November 7th.