BLACK RIVER FALLS, WI--(Marketwire - October 15, 2009) - During his visit to WaterFurnace Renewable Energy (TSX: WFI) headquarters in Fort Wayne, Ind., on June 2, 2009, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu discussed how clean technologies like geothermal heating and cooling systems are saving homeowners money on utility bills.

Three months later, homeowners participating in the GreenMax Home initiative, a project of WPPI Energy, a nonprofit municipal power company headquartered in Sun Prairie, Wis., are doing just that. The GreenMax Home program supports design and lifestyle choices that move a home from "highly efficient" to "net zero." Net zero energy homes (NZEH) combine state-of-the-art green and environmentally-friendly technologies and practices with renewable energy technology to ensure that the homes produce as much energy as they consume.

The first home completed under the GreenMax program, also the first all-electric NZEH in the region, features a geothermal heat pump (GHP) from WaterFurnace International, the leading manufacturer of residential geothermal and water source heat pumps. Homeowners of the NZEH in Black River Falls installed a WaterFurnace Synergy 3D GHP to heat and cool their home. The result is a home not only using less energy than a typical home, but actually producing as much energy as it consumes, and supplies energy back to the grid in an amount equal to the power the homeowner purchases from the grid, resulting in a "net zero" impact on the nation's energy supply. Any excess energy generated by the house is fed back into the grid.

Geothermal heat pumps, like the WaterFurnace Synergy 3D system, capitalize on the solar energy stored year-round just below the earth's surface to provide free, geothermal energy that increases the efficiency of home heating, cooling and hot water systems and reduces energy bills. The system was installed by Water Source Heating & Cooling, Inc., Eau Claire, Wis.

In addition to manufacturer rebates, utility, state and now federal tax incentives that enhance the affordability of geothermal systems, this cost-effective, environmentally friendly technology offers a host of benefits to homeowners, including:

-- Efficiency ratings up to five times higher than ordinary heating and cooling systems

-- Utility bill savings up to 70%

-- Reduced carbon footprint

-- More even distribution of heating and cooling for improved comfort

-- Improved indoor air quality

-- Quiet operation with no noisy outdoor units

-- Safe operation that requires no open flame or fuel storage tanks

-- Less maintenance

-- Increased system longevity (an average life span of 24 years vs.15 for conventional air conditioners and 20 years for fossil fuel furnaces)

Other clean energy technologies installed in this GreenMax home include a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, ENERGY STAR®-rated windows, structural plumbing, exterior insulation and added wall thickness.


Dan Green, president of Water Source Heating and Cooling, Eau Claire, Wis.

-- "Despite the difficult economic factors the country has faced, we have been fortunate to see double-digit growth in our business. I believe that is a result of the growing number of homeowners who are committed to reducing energy consumption, local and state incentives like the GreenMax Home initiative, and the administration's commitment to increasing awareness of renewable energy technologies such as geothermal heat pumps from WaterFurnace International."

Andy Fracica, director of marketing, WaterFurnace, Fort Wayne, Ind.

-- "We are thrilled that homeowners who made saving energy, reducing their carbon footprint and supporting clean energy technology a priority in the design of their new GreenMax Home selected WaterFurnace products to provide heating and cooling. Their selection of a WaterFurnace geothermal heat pump is a testament to the efficiency of the system and its ability to support the goals of the GreenMax Home program, inspiring homeowners to environmental stewardship.

WaterFurnace International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional geothermal and water source heat pumps. Products from WaterFurnace include energy-efficient and environmentally friendly geothermal comfort systems, indoor air quality products and pool heaters. WaterFurnace (TSX: WFI) was founded in 1983, the company is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind.

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Related Links

WPPI Energy's GreenMax Home Initiative

U.S. Department of Energy



Contact Information: Contact: Jon Lee Marketing Project Manager 260-479-3209