The geothermal industry has joined forces to launch its first awareness campaign through the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), a nonprofit trade association promoting the manufacture, design, and installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems, and it’s using real climate change deniers to sell it.
“Featuring real people in real conversations makes our message that much more clear, relatable and powerful,” explains Ryan Dougherty, COO, GEO. He adds his trade group needed to do “something disruptive” in order to raise the “extremely low consumer awareness.”
The “Energy We Can All Agree On” campaign includes a series of videos in which a left-leaning environmentalist/hippie and self-proclaimed geothermal spokesperson, Eric Caspian-Johnson Garcia-Marquez (played by actor Eric Satterberg), heads to “America’s heartland” to speak with real-life self-proclaimed climate-change skeptics about the benefits of using geothermal energy. Although the climate change non-believers haven’t come around on the findings of the scientific community, the GEO is reaching them through what matters to them: money. While they may not believe in climate change, the amount of money they could save is impossible to ignore.
What we learn from this campaign is that no matter where you stand on climate change and the environment, we can all agree on geothermal energy – even if the reasons are completely different. Both sides can agree on the benefits of geothermal, including cost savings, the fact that it’s 100% renewable, the consistent comfort and the independence from fossil fuels.
A recent Yale University study found climate change is the single most polarizing issue among American voters, even more so than abortion and gun control. Additionally, according to a Gallup poll, nearly half of Americans believe climate change will not affect them.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CONTRACTORS
By promoting geothermal, contractors can differentiate themselves from the competition. In addition, as energy dynamics and regulation change across the nation, geothermal should be considered as a potential addition to the portfolio.
The upfront cost may spook some customers, but that can be remedied by focusing on monthly cost versus system costs. Financing has really driven the automobile industry, and a similar concept could occur with geothermal. There is also a tax credit, which offers payback returns in as short as three years when looking at the cost difference between a conventional and a geothermal system.