GEO at IGSHPA 2014 Conference & Expo

igshpa 2014More than 500 attendees enjoyed the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) 2014 Technical Conference & Expo at the Balti-more Convention Center and Hilton Hotel in Baltimore, MD on October 15-16. Besides training courses, this year’s conference tracks included Utility, Commercial/ Institutional, Marketing, Technical Innovations, a DOE Panel Discussion, and Industry Association Updates. The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) sponsored an exhibit and convened a Public Policy Workshop at the event, and Board Members Steve Smith (Enertech), Phil Schoen (Geo-Enterprises) and Keith Swilley (Gulf Power) participated in session tracks.

Following an Organizational Design Summit last May that involved a number of key member/stakeholders, IGSHPA adopted a reorganization plan for the association dubbed “IGSHPA 2.0.” A Board of Directors with oversight of IGSHPA will replace the association’s Advisory Committee, and new leadership well steer a variety of committees. According to GEO President Doug Dougherty, “We believe that adoption of IGSHPA 2.0 is a move in the right direction for the organization, and if executed properly will significantly improve its training, outreach and financial position.” For more information about IGSHPA 2.0, visit the association website, here.

On Oct. 15, GEO Chairman Steve Smith, Board Member Phil Schoen, and GEO staff met with Oklahoma State University Assistant Dean for Outreach Ed Kirtley (College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology), IGSGPA Director Bob Ingersoll, IGSHPA Training Program Manager Roshan Revankar, and IGSHPA Advisory Committee Chairman Jack Henrich (Bergeson Caswell) to discuss topics of mutual interest to the associations. The result was agreement to improve communications between the two organizations for mutual benefit, and to convene a joint face-to-face board meeting during the first quarter of 2015.

GEO President Doug Dougherty also met with representatives of the National Ground Water Association, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers, and the Canadian Standards Association to discuss terminology for closed loop geoexchange systems in CSA 448 North American Standards. They compromised on a definition that eliminates the term, “well,” in favor of “closed loop ground heat exchanger” to describe vertical, horizontal and directional loops.

Public Policy Workshop
GEO convened a Public Policy Workshop at the IGSHPA event on Oct. 16. Speakers provided valuable tips on advocacy across the country and making your voice heard by regulatory agencies and local, state, and federal government officials. Following welcoming remarks by Chairman Smith, GEO President and CEO Doug Dougherty discussed the need for coordinated grassroots action by state geothermal heat pump associations and at the national level through the efforts of GEO.

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GEO Public Policy Workshop speakers Doug Dougherty (GEO President), Ed Krenik (Bracewell & Giuliani), Scott Emery (Maevelle Energy) and David Henrich (Bergeson Caswell)

GEO Washington DC Advocacy Team member Ed Krenik (Bracewell & Giuliani) described current issues and advocacy tactics at the federal level, including long-sought recognition of geothermal heat pumps as a renewable technology; tax credits for GHPs; and the status of tax extenders bills currently before Congress. Scott Emery (Maevelle Energy) discussed his experiences with grassroots lobbying both in our nation’s capital and around the Mid-Atlantic region, including the importance of one-on-one activities with political leaders such as construction site visits. David Henrich (Bergeson Caswell) talked about the need for strategic liaisons with other organizations like the National Ground Water Association and group efforts to attain common legislative and regulatory goals.