U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu Tours WaterFurnace International

Jun 02, 2009, 20:17 ET from WaterFurnace International, Inc.

Tour Coincides with Announcement of $50 Million in Funding for Geothermal Systems

FORT WAYNE, Ind., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu toured the world headquarters of WaterFurnace International, Inc., a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional geothermal and water source heat pumps, during a visit to Fort Wayne, Ind., earlier today. His visit to Fort Wayne also included the announcement of a $50 million program that will encourage the installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems like the ones manufactured by WaterFurnace.

Sec. Chu visited the city to discuss federal recovery efforts for auto communities and workers. As part of his visit, the secretary participated in a roundtable discussion with WaterFurnace executives, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, a WaterFurnace employee and a WaterFurnace dealer. Following the discussion, Sec. Chu toured the WaterFurnace facility with WaterFurnace President and CEO Tom Huntington, Chairman of the Board Tim Shields and Mayor Henry.

According to Sec. Chu, the $50 million program will support three programs. The largest of the three will fund competitive grants open to companies like WaterFurnace that manufacture geothermal heating and cooling systems. These grants will apply to cost-shared technology demonstration projects that retrofit or incorporate a minimum of 50 tons of heating and cooling capacity.

Another program will provide grants to improve geothermal system technology, and a third will create a national certification process to increase consumer confidence.

"We are very excited about Sec. Chu's announcement today and the leadership WaterFurnace will continue to play in our country's movement toward clean energy technology," said Huntington. "But what's more, it was an honor to have Sec. Chu recognize WaterFurnace as a people-oriented company; that not only do we stand out as a company that is progressive in our technology, but also a company invested in our people."

"The products we build and promote are among the most environmentally friendly heating and cooling products available in the world today," Huntington continued. "We've also implemented a number of initiatives here in Fort Wayne that reduce our carbon footprint and make a positive contribution to the environment of our community."

In fact, the city of Fort Wayne recently recognized WaterFurnace as the first business in Fort Wayne to achieve Green City Business certification. As part of the Green City Business certification process, WaterFurnace attended a training session sponsored by the Fort Wayne Environmental and Energy Department. The program helps businesses save money on energy costs and adopt more environmentally friendly business practices as it targets pollution prevention, solid waste reduction and energy and water conservation.

"As we continue to practice good stewardship of our environment, WaterFurnace has been able to sustain a leadership position in an industry that has become the choice for environmentally friendly and super energy-efficient heating, cooling and hot water products," said Huntington. "Our products save as much as 70 percent on heating, cooling and hot water costs and emit no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other greenhouse gases.

Tim Shields, chairman of the board at WaterFurnace said, "Because geothermal energy is homegrown, using geothermal energy reduces the country's dependence on foreign oil and creates 'green collar' jobs in the United States. The allocation of funds announced by Sec. Chu will certainly have a positive impact on our business and the smaller businesses the geothermal industry supports, including heating and air-conditioning contractors, electricians, plumbers, excavators and drilling machine operators."

In addition to these businesses, homeowners will benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under the provisions of this act, homeowners who install a geothermal system before Dec. 31, 2016 can take advantage of a federal renewable energy tax credit of 30 percent of the total investment for the system. This tax incentive is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009. Homeowners can also take advantage of utility rebates and state tax incentives where available to make geothermal systems more affordable than ever.

For additional information about the benefits of a geothermal heating and cooling system, visit www.waterfurnace.com or contact your local WaterFurnace representative.

WaterFurnace International, Inc.

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.

For additional information, please visit www.waterfurnace.com.

    Editorial Contact:
    Katie Stafford
    Godfrey Public Relations
    717-393-3831, ext. 159

SOURCE WaterFurnace International, Inc.