BEDFORD, Ind. — U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, Indiana 9th District, visited the Geo-Flo plant in Bedford, Indiana, on April 21. Discussions included the state of the geothermal heat pump industry, as well as Geo-Flo's encouragement to support H.R. Bill 1090, which would extend the tax credit for investments in energy property with construction that begins before January 1, 2022. The bill includes geothermal technology and other renewables left out of the tax credit extension that included solar installations. As of the date of the visit, there were 59 co-sponsors of the bill introduced by Rep. Tom Reed of New York.
Tom Wyer, company president, gave a brief presentation followed by a factory tour. Part of the presentation included a history of Geo-Flo, which began production in 1988. Wyer provided some background on the geothermal industry and statistics to help provide Hollingsworth and his staff a better understanding of how the geothermal heat pump industry compares to the overall HVAC industry and U.S. manufacturing in general. It’s estimated that around 2,000 people are directly or indirectly employed as a result of the geothermal heat pump industry, just in Indiana. “These are good manufacturing jobs, skilled HVAC installation technicians, and heavy equipment operators; jobs that cannot be exported,” stated Wyer.
As an industry, geothermal heat pump technology has grown steadily for most of the past 30 years until around 2009-2010, when the effects of the “Great Recession” started affecting the industry. In 2008, under President Bush (who has geothermal in his Texas ranch home), tax credits were established that provided support to energy efficient technologies, including geothermal heat pumps. Unfortunately, the credits coincided with the “Great Recession,” limiting industry growth. When the omnibus bill passed by Congress in December 2015 extended tax credits for the solar industry, but left out geothermal, solar technology received an unfair advantage from a tax standpoint. H.R. 1090 provides tax equity.
During the factory tour, a number of good discussions relating to Geo-Flo manufacturing and geothermal technology provided Hollingsworth and his staff with additional details, according to Wyer. Geo-Flo guests watched as the CNC machines were machining brass fittings and adapters from brass bar stock that Geo-Flo brings in exclusively from mills in the U.S. “We very much enjoyed Representative Hollingsworth’s visit and appreciate his time,” concluded Wyer. “Awareness of how the geothermal heat pump industry impacts jobs, energy, and the environment is good for business.”
For more information, contact Jeff Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 5/15/2017