FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Drake Rice, Director of Member Services, 405/340-5047
Oklahoma Comfort Program Is Under Way
The Oklahoma Comfort Program (OCP) is now officially under way. The OCP will use funds from the Stimulus State Energy Program (SSEP) and will be administered by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. The program will provide energy audits and additional rebates for the installation of Geothermal Heat Pump Systems (GHP), along with training for installation of the systems and education for conservation. The project was developed by three partners – the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA), the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), and ClimateMaster, Inc.
OMPA, a consumer-owned public power entity, will administer the project, with assistance from the GRC. With members in 30 plus countries, the GRC is a tax-exempt, non-profit, educational association that seeks to expand its role as a primary professional educational association for the international geothermal community.
ClimateMaster, Inc. will provide in-kind contributions to the project in the form of staff time, training for the public and professionals involved in the installation of GHPs, program promotion, and other benefits. ClimaterMaster, Inc, headquartered in Oklahoma City, is a manufacturer of water-source and geothermal heat pumps. “As the primary participating geothermal equipment partner for the Oklahoma Comfort Program, we are looking forward to assisting with this program that will provide environmentally clean, economically sound and superbly comfortable home environments,” said Dan Ellis, President of ClimateMaster, Inc.
A Geothermal Heat Pump System is a central heating and/or air conditioning system that actively pumps heat to or from the shallow ground. It uses the earth as either a source of heat in the winter or as a coolant in the summer.
Currently, GHP installations must be less than 5.5 tons to qualify for the OCP rebates, which are $1,000 per ton for qualifying ClimateMaster installations, and $750 per ton for other manufacturers’ qualifying installations. These rebates are in addition to the one currently offered under OMPA’s WISE Rebate Program of $800 per ton for qualifying GHP installations. Therefore, a customer could receive as much as $1,800 per ton for the installation of a GHP system. Also, a Federal Tax Credit of 30 percent of the system cost (with no upper limit) is available to residential customers for qualifying GHP installations.
The WISE Rebate Program encourages both residential and commercial customers in the OMPA member cities to install equipment that is more efficient than Energy Star standards. In addition to GHP systems, the WISE Rebate Program offers rebates for the installation of dual-fuel and air-source heat pumps, as well as air conditioners.
“There are lots of winners in the Oklahoma Comfort Program,” said Cindy L. Holman, OMPA General Manager. “The customers win by getting lower utility bills and the OMPA member cities reduce the cost of providing electric services and mitigate future rate increases.” According to the U.S. Department of Energy, GHP systems can save customers up to 30-50 percent off the costs of heating and cooling with older systems; independent analysis by OMPA agrees with these estimates.
The guidelines and necessary paperwork for implementing OCP are currently being finalized. Brochures to inform customers in the OMPA member cities will be ready soon. To start the process for qualifying for a rebate under OCP, an energy audit needs to be conducted of a customer’s house, which includes a blower door test.
“OMPA appreciates the support it has received from the Geothermal Resources Council and ClimateMaster in developing and implementing a program that will help lessen the cost of installing geothermal heating and cooling systems for customers in the member cities. ClimateMaster is an Oklahoma company with a plant in Oklahoma City providing jobs to Oklahomans,” said Roger Farrer, OMPA Energy Services Manager, who will be administering the program.
“Once installed, the geothermal system requires minimal maintenance and offers savings for the life of the system. It’s also among the most environmentally responsible heating/cooling systems available today,” added Farrer.
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) is an agency of the State of Oklahoma that currently serves 37 municipal electric systems in Oklahoma.