WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today introduced legislation that encourages the federal government to use geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) for the heating and cooling of federal buildings. One of the leading manufactures of GHP’s, Climate Master Inc, is located in Oklahoma City and has been focused on enhancing business and home environments around the world for the past fifty years. Senator Inhofe is working with Senate leadership to include this bill, the "Federal Buildings Energy Conservation Act," as an amendment to HR 6, the energy bill currently being considered by the Senate.
“Geothermal heat pumps are a proven, effective, and efficient technology that can meet the General Services Administration’s (GSA) heating and cooling needs while simultaneously saving taxpayer dollars and conserving energy,” Senator Inhofe said. “I am proud to introduce legislation today that encourages the GSA to use GHP technology, when feasible, that could reduce energy costs at each site by up to 40%, and substantially reduce energy demands and pollution resulting from the operation of federal buildings.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to incorporate this important legislation into the energy bill.”
Dan Ellis, President of ClimateMaster, Inc., praised Senator Inhofe’s bill, saying, “The legislation introduced today by Senator Inhofe is a real step in the direction for enhancing the energy efficiency of the federal sector. We look forward to working with government building officials to make heating and air-conditioning efficient and reliable, and to saving the taxpayers money on the power bills they pay for federal buildings. Geothermal heat pumps are a promising technology, and this bill should bring needed attention to their effective use.”
GHP technology has been described by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space-conditioning system. EPA found that GHP systems can reduce energy consumption—and corresponding emissions—by more than 40% compared to air source heat pumps and by over 70% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment. The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that if GHP systems were installed nationwide, the country could save several billion dollars annually in energy costs and substantially reduce pollution.
Further, the Department of Energy has explained that, “Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) can provide significant energy savings to a wide range of federal facilities including office buildings, housing, medical facilities, schools, training facilities, communications facilities, and court houses.”