Editor’s note: Since first publishing this story, the program has been extended through March 31, 2020.
A novel partnership between Con Ed and a New York City-based energy company could help address the county’s natural gas crisis — and help homeowners save money on energy costs, too.
Con Edison and Dandelion Energy are currently offering Westchester homeowners geothermal heating and cooling systems, which use a pump and underground pipes to regulate temperatures using thermal energy from the earth. “Think of the underground pipes as a straw used to pull heat from the ground into your home during the winter,” Dandelion explains in an educational video on their website. “In the summer, your heat pump pushes heat from your home into the ground to keep you cool.”
The partnership came into being when Con Ed — facing a natural gas shortage — opened a call for solutions. “Con Edison selected Dandelion’s proposal, and thus our partnership was born,” explains Ilyas Frenkel, Dandelion’s head of marketing.
“We’re working with Dandelion to dramatically reduce the upfront costs and make it easy for Westchester residential customers to adopt this technology,” says Vicki Kuo, director of Energy Efficiency Programs for Con Edison.
This partnership marks first time Dandelion has partnered with a utility, Frenkel notes.
A geothermal system price tag can be as high as $30,000, although homeowners can pay month-by-month, Dandelion says. Westchester homeowners can also save $5,000 through an incentive offered by Con Edison that runs through March 31, 2020.
Dandelion and Con Edison aren’t the only ones touting geothermal energy. In May, the U.S. Department of Energy published an analysis of its potential: “There is enormous untapped potential for geothermal energy in the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in a press release. “Making geothermal more affordable can increase our energy options for a more diverse electricity generation mix and for innovative heating and cooling.”