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Letter: Geothermal can cut electric bills

Suffolk Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) celebrates on

Suffolk Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) celebrates on election night, Nov. 3, 2015. She ultimately defeated Republican challenger Steve Tricarico by 17 votes. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara


Suffolk Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) and the state Department of Public Service are looking for alternative and less costly ways to help all-electric customers heat their homes [“Ways to lower electric-heating charges,” News, Jan. 28]. This is laudatory.

Geothermal heat pump systems are the answer. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes them as among the most efficient systems. Geothermal pumps move and amplify heat, rather than generate it. The systems work like air conditioners but can transfer warmth inside as well as outside. Geothermal pumps use the ground, which is warmer than the air in winter and cooler in summer, to draw in or dump heat.

In winter, these systems release three to five times more thermal energy than they consume in electricity. This can trim 50 to 75 percent from the average winter bill. In summer, the systems use 40 to 50 percent less electricity than a conventional air conditioner.

One underground heat exchanger can be funded by and shared among many households. This makes it ideal for multi-family housing.

John Rhyner


John Franceschina

Dix Hills

Editor’s note: The writers are board members of the Long Island Geothermal Energy Organization, a nonprofit that promotes geothermal heating and cooling.