June 26, 2006

Ground source energy groups begin talks on co-ordinating certification, marketing activities

The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC) and the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) have begun discussing how best to co-ordinate their responses to the many challenges facing the growth of the geoexchange industry in Canada. In particular both organizations agree on the importance of finding ways to harmonize CGC training for installers and small building designers with existing IGSHPA training materials.

The initiation of these talks is timely, given that the CGC is currently in the middle of a national consultation tour about its proposed voluntary national geoexchange(TM) certification program, which will offer installers and designers of geoexchange(TM) systems a proper accreditation along with other market transformation tools such as training, warranty and insurance.

CGE executive director Denis Tanguay reported that, at about halfway through the process, the reception has been extremely favourable. "We have initiated a transparent and open dialogue with partners across the country and major stakeholders now believe the industry can deliver the promised energy supply and savings," he said, noting that the certification program will provide the necessary infrastructure to help develop the industry in a sustainable way, while offering consumers enough confidence to consider geoexchange as a strong contender in their energy supply decision.

The launch of discussions is the first step in the development of a longer-term relationship between both organizations. "The CGC is currently developing an accreditation and certification program for installers, designers and qualified firms, and we are looking at ways to co-operate more extensively with IGSHPA and local organizations in the implementation of this market transformation activity," Tanguay added.

"IGSHPA is very pleased with the opportunity to continue its support of the Canadian geoexchange market by working with the CGC," noted added Lisa McArthur, the IGSHPA's assistant executive director.

The two groups have also agreed to work on developing an appropriate business model, with September 30th, 2006 set as the target date for completion. The results will be announced at the IGSHPA's annual conference in Albany, New York in early October and subsequently at the CGC's Policy and Business Forum in Ottawa at the end of November.

The IGSHPA is a non-profit organization established in 1987 to advance ground source heat pump (GSHP) technology on local, state, national and international levels. Based at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the IGSHPA has long been recognized for its leadership in the development of quality training materials for installers and designers of geoexchange systems.

The CGC acts as the industry catalyst to unite private and public sector stakeholders and to expand the market for ground source heat pumps in Canada. It is at the forefront of the geoexchange market transformation initiative in Canada, and is currently finalizing the development of classroom training materials fully adapted to the Canadian regulatory environment.

More information is available from Daniela Pizzuto at the CGC, 514/807-7559, extension 33, E-mail daniela.pizzuto@geo-exchange.ca, Web site www.geo-exchange.ca.

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