Geothermal Energy Installers in Scranton, Pennsylvania
With the rising cost of utilities, more Pennsylvania homeowners are looking for ways to save on their energy bills. In addition, growing concerns regarding global warming and climate change are also on many people’s minds. As such, homeowners are turning to geothermal energy installers in Scranton to help them transition to cleaner, more affordable energy.
What Is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy is a renewable resource that derives from radioactive particles breaking down from within the Earth’s core. Thermal energy then gets stored in rocks and fluids, which geothermal installers can tap into by drilling into underground reservoirs.
Drilling may require a shallow distance of several feet or miles beneath the surface before reaching hot water temperatures. The water then gets extracted for electricity, heating and cooling.
The liquid flows through a looped pipe system from the ground to the home or business. As it generates heat while reaching the surface, the liquid cools and returns to the Earth, leaving thermal heat behind.
Benefits of Geothermal Energy
Geothermal, although in its infancy, has numerous benefits as a viable energy source. Geothermal energy provides a consistent heat source for residents of cold-climate regions at high capacity, regardless of extreme weather conditions. Likewise, because thermal energy naturally occurs from inside the Earth, it’s available for billions of years without ever running out.
The United States can also harness geothermal resources domestically, reducing its reliance on other countries for fuel.
Another benefit is using less land than other power sources, such as coal, wind and solar. For instance, geothermal plants need 404 square meters (m2) of area per gigawatt-hour, while solar power stations need 3,237 m2.
Of course, geothermal energy produces far fewer emissions than fossil-fuel sources and natural gas. In fact, geothermal energy creates one-sixth of carbon emissions generated by natural gas and nearly zero sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide.
Geothermal Energy Isn’t Perfect
The benefits of geothermal energy are impressive, but there are some disadvantages. Land subsidence is a concern as the system removes water from underground reservoirs. However, looped systems that re-inject water reduce the risk of ground collapse over time. The increasing frequency of earthquakes may also result from drilling and withdrawing water.
Although geothermal doesn’t emit harmful toxins, there are some environmental effects to consider. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), improperly installed geothermal systems risk discharging concentrated levels of carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia into nearby waterways, potentially killing local aquatic species and wildlife.
Installation costs also tend to discourage homeowners from pursuing geothermal systems. Installing a heat pump on your property could cost between $15,000 and $30,000 – of course, homeowners will see immediate savings of 25% to 65% in heating and cooling bills.
How Can Homeowners Afford Geothermal Heat Pumps?
Most homeowners don’t have to pay the total cost of geothermal energy systems. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 includes eligibility for a 30% tax credit to those who install renewable energy, including geothermal. Homeowners can receive a 30% tax credit until 2032, when the current rate drops.
Additionally, geothermal energy installers can inform you about state incentives and rebates to offset additional costs associated with installing geothermal heat pumps and maintenance. In the end, harnessing geothermal energy may be more affordable than you think.
Is Geothermal Energy Better than Natural Gas?
Although natural gas is widely utilized across the U.S., the risks associated with geothermal energy are much smaller. Geothermal, in particular, is an ideal alternative for Scranton area residents worried about safe drinking water and air quality.
Aside from its legacy as a coal-mining state, Pennsylvania has a long and troubled history with natural gas extraction and water contamination. Since the Marcellus Shale boom between 2007 and 2012, natural gas companies have drilled over 10,000 natural gas wells and faced a slew of lawsuits for contaminating local drinking water.
Less than an hour away from Scranton, Dimock residents gained national attention for lighting their tap water on fire. Officials implicated Coterra Energy – formerly Cabot Oil and Gas – with 15 counts of criminal indictments for impaired wells in June 2020.
Two years later, in late 2022, Pennsylvania ended a 12-year ban on fracking for natural gas in Dimock after signing a contract with Coterra. Now residents have renewed concerns over the safety of their drinking water supply and methane emissions.
Under the new agreement, Coterra may drill horizontally in a nine-square-mile radius under Dimock. The caveat is they must expend over $16 million to build a new water system for the town and pay the water bills for impacted residents for 75 years.
Where to Find Geothermal Energy Installers in Scranton
There are now numerous geothermal energy installers in Scranton as residents move away from natural gas and dirty fossil fuels to power their homes and businesses.
T.E. Spall and Son have been in business for 38 years and are well-trained to install geothermal heat pumps on your property. The company will visit your home to give you an estimate at no cost if you’re interested in pursuing their business.
Hannaberry HVAC also serves the Scranton area and is a reputable installer of geothermal energy systems. However, its technicians only provide ongoing maintenance and repairs for their geothermal equipment. Those with existing heat pumps must replace their system with Hannaberry or look for another company for periodic checks and repairs.
Likewise, Jim Lamberti Contracting Services primarily works on installing geothermal systems for Scranton-area homeowners, providing routine care when necessary.
Geothermal Energy: Clean At-Home Power for Scranton Residents
Scranton homeowners and businesses have had much to contend with in recent years. As natural gas drilling leaves wells contaminated and households struggle to pay their utility bills, geothermal energy presents a newer, safer opportunity for generating power. Calling geothermal energy installers in the Scranton area is the best way to know what credits and rebates are available as you transition to cleaner power.